We were unaware of this but from 1 January, buses, lorries / trucks and trailers if towed, above 3.5 tonnes will be required to carry blind spot stickers in France. Although the IRU has protested against this unilaterally proclaimed measure, it would have been good to be prepared.
The IRU called upon the European Union to intervene against the French measure, but given the time this was announced, with Brexit and the then Christmas / New Year break, little change could have been expected. We can only assume that the French measure has therefore taken off as of 1 January as planned. Here are the rules as announced by France:
In December, we told you that tyres aged over 10 years will be banned on the front axles of lorries, buses, coaches and all single wheels of minibuses (9 to 16 passenger seats).
The law comes into effect on 1 February 2021.
To help vehicle operators and those who work with them, we’ve published updated versions of the:
You can read Section 8 of the updated documents to find out how the procedures and standards on the condition of tyres will change from 1 February 2021.
The manuals also give guidance on tyre age markings and set out the deficiency categories for these items at annual test.
A change table listing all the changes in the manuals is also available to view.
We’ve also published an updated version of the
Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness.
The existing publications are still online and in use until 1 February 2021.
On 4 January, the government announced a new national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus.
You can read more about the new national lockdown on GOV.UK.
Heavy vehicle testing can continue under the new national lockdown with COVID-19 secure measures in place.
We will continue to provide the vehicle standards assessors needed to test heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and public service vehicles (PSVs) safely.
Our Network Business Managers will work with ATFs to manage any local impacts from COVID-19 on our service provision.
You should continue to manage the regular maintenance and inspection schedule for your vehicles and trailers. This is a legal requirement under your operator’s licence.
The government has issued guidance on wearing face coverings and guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, which is published on GOV.UK.
Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) periodic training is to be monitored by DVSA to ensure drivers are not unnecessarily repeating training as part of the 35-hour requirement.
This follows a review of Driver CPC training and recommendations made by the European Commission which the Government has adopted.
We strongly urge HGV drivers travelling to or via France to ensure they have a negative COVID test before heading to ports. Those using Kent ports are now also legally required to have a Kent Access Permit.
- HGVs leaving England for France can only cross the Channel with evidence of an authorised negative COVID test, that has been conducted within the 72-hour period before their departure. This is mandated by the UK and French governments.
- HGV drivers arriving in Kent with proof of a negative Covid test and a Kent Access Permit will now be ‘fast tracked’, with quicker access to the port or eurotunnel terminal.
To all Hauliers,
There are now 2 weeks left until the processes for moving goods in and out of the EU change.
With or without a free trade agreement we will be leaving the customs union and single market. Customs declarations will need to be made and hauliers will be expected to carry the right documents to get across the border.
I know many of you are acutely aware of the changes coming and are taking steps to be ready, but it is vital your customers, those whose goods you move, also take the right actions and give you and your drivers the right paperwork. If not, it will be your company and your staff who suffer as a result of traders’ lack of preparation.
There are a number of actions you can take today. From January 1, every haulier moving goods into the EU will need the correct driver, vehicle, cargo and customs documents.
In the run up to the festive period, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is working with local authorities to inspect businesses in the transport and logistics industry to ensure they are managing the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19).
With the current lockdown restrictions, the demand for online shopping is already high and this is expected to increase over the next few weeks. This will also increase demand in the supply chain for the sector.
HSE inspectors and local authority officers will be visiting warehouses and distribution centres across the country to make sure workplaces are COVID-secure and following the relevant guidance.
Being COVID-secure means that businesses need to put in place workplace controls such as social distancing and cleaning arrangements to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus.
They will be making sure that businesses have suitable toilet and handwashing facilities for all workers, including visiting drivers. They will also check other health and safety matters if required.
We have been again asked the question of the situation regarding expired or expiring driver licences. The piece below comes coutesy of Backhouse Jones a trusted transport law firm in the UK.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DVLA previously announced that photocard driving licences and entitlements expiring between 1st February 2020 and 31st August 2020 would be automatically extended by seven months. The DVLA did on 1st September 2020, announce that the extension of expiry dates has been extended to eleven months and applies to photocards and entitlements expiring between 1st February 2020 and 31st December 2020.
The UK Government is introducing a three-tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England from Wednesday 14 October.
What this means for our services
The three local alert levels do not affect our heavy vehicle testing service. This means we can continue to test heavy goods vehicles (HGV) and public service vehicles (PSVs) in a way which is safe for everyone.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, ATF annual test inspections were stopped and temporary measures for prohibition removals were put in place. These are now changing.
From 28 September 2020, all ‘S’ marked prohibitions that cannot be removed at the roadside will need to be inspected by DVSA at an ATF.
If the vehicle is being used with a certificate of temporary exemption or the annual test certificate is over 6 months old, the vehicle will be referred for a full removal inspection. A new annual test certificate will be issued with the removal notice once a pass result is achieved.
Vehicles with an annual test certificate less than 6 months old will be referred for a partial inspection, where a removal notice will be issued.
Prohibitions issued for an annual test dangerous fail or police issued prohibitions will be removed through the usual process of a DVSA inspection at the ATF.
Removal inspections for all other items will continue to be done at the roadside or by the Remote Enforcement Office (REO).You will be given guidance at the time the prohibition is issued on how to get it cleared. If unsatisfactory evidence is provided to the REO the vehicle may be referred for an ATF inspection.
Bridge strikes cause serious delay to rail services and other road users. Where buses are involved, there can also be injuries and even deaths. Operators are legally required to have systems in place to prevent bridge strikes occurring.
One large operator took action when they were involved in bridge strikes last year, including the use of route planning software. Here’s what happened.
Following the first bridge strike, the operator investigated and rolled out fresh training for drivers, transport managers and planners. They also made sure that all sites had height measurement gauges. Following a second bridge strike, they realised they needed to do more, and explained what action they were going to take at a recent public inquiry in Bristol.
They commissioned a transport management solutions provider to develop a bespoke route planning system designed to prevent bridge strikes. Each vehicle and trailer in the fleet has an established running height on its technical record.
The Maintenance Investigation Visit Reports (MIVR), which DVSA carries out to ensure operators have the right systems and facilities in place to maintain their vehicles, are changing.