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During these unprecedented times, our industry has been in the thick of it and for the first time, we can proudly wave the flag and say that we are an essential service to the country.

We have had numerous updates from both the DVSA and The Office of The Traffic Commissioners (OTC) about various relaxations and temporary suspensions for some of the rules we operate under.

For full information please refer to the following;

DVSA – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-transport-and-travel-guidance#bus-and-lorry-drivers

OTC – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-commissioners-contingency-and-emergency-planning-covid-19

I would like to summarise some of the points from the above which may affect us:

 

HGV D4 Medicals

The Government is making temporary provisions for bus and lorry drivers aged 45 and over to forego the need for a D4 medical in order to renew their driving entitlement. These changes are temporary and will only apply where the driver does not have any existing notifiable health conditions, and their licence has not expired before 1 January 2020.
The licence will only be valid for one year instead of five years and the driver will need to submit a completed D4 when the licence is due for renewal in 12 months. Drivers with health issues will still need to declare these, and those with health issues that prevent them from driving safely will not have their licence renewed.

All drivers must ensure they are medically fit to drive.

MOT Extension

 

Your vehicle’s MOT expiry date will be automatically extended by 6 months if it’s eligible. This will be done about 7 days before it’s due to expire.
This means that:

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your vehicle will still have a valid MOT certificate for an extra 6 months

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you can still tax your vehicle – you might need to wait to do this until later in the month if both your MOT and vehicle tax run out this month

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your insurance will still be valid

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your vehicle’s record will be updated so the police can see you have a valid MOT

You will not get a new paper MOT certificate with the new expiry date on it.

You must still keep your vehicle safe to drive.

Relaxation of Driving Hours Rules

The EU drivers’ hours rules can be temporarily relaxed as follows:

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A) Replacement of the EU daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 11 hours

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B) Reduction of the daily rest requirements from 11 to 9 hours

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C) Lifting the weekly (56 hours) and fortnightly driving limits (90 hours) to 60 and 96 hours respectively

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D) Postponement of the requirement to start a weekly rest period after six 24 hours periods, for after seven 24 hours period; although 2 regular weekly rest periods or a regular and a reduced weekly rest period will still be required within a fortnight

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E) Drivers using the relaxation at ‘b’, reducing their daily rest from 11 hours to 9, can still use the derogation allowing them to interrupt their daily rest, by up to one hour, to embark and disembark from a train or a ferry

Drivers must not use relaxation ‘a’ and ‘d’ at the same time. This is to ensure drivers can get adequate rest.

Who can use the relaxation?

Anyone driving under the EU drivers’ hours rules or the GB drivers’ hours rules and undertaking carriage of goods by road can use the relevant relaxations where necessary.

Although the relaxations are not limited to specific sectors or journeys, they should only be used where necessary. Otherwise, normal drivers’ hour’s rules should apply. We believe the relaxations should be used by drivers involved in the carriage of essential goods by road; such as for example, the carriage of medical equipment/supplies (including oxygen and clinical waste); and the delivery of essential food and hygiene items (including animal feed and milk collection).

Vehicle Inspections

All vehicle inspections must still be adhered as per schedule.

However, if a vehicle has been taken off the road the PMI period can be frozen. i.e. If the scheduled PMI is 14 May and the vehicle comes off the road on the 30 April this means there are 14 days before the PMI is due. When the vehicle goes back on the road this 14-day period before the next PMI can be kept as long as the vehicle has an enhanced daily walk round check before entering service again.

This is explained in greater detail in the document below.

The following document has more information on the statutory Operators Licence compliance and Transport Managers obligation during this time.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/878402/200406_Advice_note.pdf

 

Please contact Paul Jacobs 07717 535 112 or Joe Cowley 07403 756 919 for more information.