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Ask the MAC – December 2021


Discover the answers to questions put to Logistics UK's Member Advice Centre

DIGITAL WALKAROUND CHECKS

We currently conduct HGV daily walkaround checks for our fleet of vehicles by filling in paperwork and handing the required forms in to the office. It is a thorough system but is not digital. Is there any new legislation coming into play in the future that will require this to be on a digital platform, as we will need to invest into this development if so?

As far as we are aware, there are no plans to introduce legislation to make vehicle maintenance records electronic or digital.

There are electronic programmes currently available to operators, but it is not a legal requirement to have digital records.

From 1 April 2022, Earned Recognition operators can use one of these options for their vehicle maintenance monitoring systems:

  • fully digital electronic reporting systems for maintenance and vehicle KPIs, approved by DVSA
  • a mixture of manual maintenance and vehicle systems or a mixture of digital maintenance systems (both internal systems and external programmes), alongside digital reporting, all validated by DVSA
  • manually send maintenance and vehicle reporting information to DVSA

DRUG AND ALCHOHOL TESTING

Can a driver refuse to undergo a drugs or alcohol test?

Employers must have consent if they want to test for drugs. Usually this is when they have a full contractual health and safety policy, which should be in the contract or staff handbook.

Employers should:

  • limit testing to employees that need to be tested;
  • ensure the tests are random;
  • not single out particular employees for testing unless the nature of their job justifies this.

Workers can’t be forced to take a drugs test but if they refuse when the employer has good grounds for testing, they may face disciplinary action. This should be detailed in the company policy.

PARKING ON PUBLIC ROADS

Is it allowable for a vehicle of 4.7 tonne Maximum Authorised Mass (in scope and specified on the O licence) to be parked overnight on the public road?  

Under section 7 of The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 it is an offence to use a place in any traffic area without authority from the Traffic Commissioner to use that site as an operating centre for vehicles.

The site must be specified on the licence, an operating centre is the base or centre at which a goods vehicle is normally kept. Section 23(6) makes it an offence to contravene any condition attached to an operating centre.

The issue of where a vehicle is normally kept when not in use is a question of fact and degree in each case and so it will therefore fall to the Traffic Commissioner to make the necessary findings. Our interpretation would be that vehicles of a 4.7t MAM that have been specified on an operator’s licence would not be allowed to be parked overnight on a public road as this is not the designated operating centre.

GREENING YOUR CENTRE

What are the main environmental considerations for a new operating centre? Will it be noise, the potential times of operation and the potential increase in traffic and disturbance to neighbours?

In the Senior Traffic Commissioner’s Statutory Document No. 4 – Operating Centres, there are numerous references to the environment, however paragraph 81 states the following:

“In addition, caseworkers are reminded that environmental objections may be made under the provisions of section 12(1) (applications) and section 19 (2)(a) & (4)(a) (variations). Objections are not limited to factors that might result in prejudice to the use or enjoyment of the land in question but may include:

• noise

• fumes

• pollution

• vibration

• visual intrusion.”

FOG LIGHTS DEMYSTIFIED

One of our drivers on our sweeping team has queried whether it is a legal requirement for a rear fog light to be fitted to a road sweeper. What is the position regarding this?

If the vehicle meets any of the following criteria then they would be exempt from the requirement to fit a rear fog light:

If the vehicle meets any of the following criteria then they would be exempt from the requirement to fit a rear fog light:

  • A vehicle with maximum speed not exceeding 25mph.
  • An agricultural vehicle or a works truck first used before 1 April 1986.
  • A vehicle first used before 1 April 1980.
  • A vehicle or trailer of overall width not exceeding 1,300mm.

DESTROYING DATA

When a driver leaves the business, how long should we keep information such as copies of driving licence checks? We currently do licence checks every six months.

Under GDPR, documents should only be kept for as long as they are needed. GDPR also plays a part in what happens to that information once it has been collected; the copies are classed as personal records and should be treated as confidential, and they can only be used for the purpose for which they were taken. They should also be destroyed correctly when no longer required. For further advice visit the Information Commissioner’s website at https://ico.org.uk

Good practice would see items such as driving licence checks kept on file, for as long as necessary, which would be until the next licence check. The timeframe between checks may vary between companies.

Published On: 02/12/2021 16:00:55

 


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