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Ask the MAC – May 2022

Discover answers to questions frequently put to the Member Advice Centre.


We must enter bus lanes to service a customer’s premises and think this is OK if we don’t actually drive in the bus lane to get to the customer premises. Is our understanding correct?

You may enter a bus lane to load or unload where this is not prohibited by a clearway, red route or loading ban. However, most bus stops are clearways, which are marked by a yellow line along the kerb and a sign. Do not load and unload in them during the signed times.


We want to use forward facing cameras in our vehicles for insurance purposes, however we are concerned about filming members of the public. Do we have any responsibilities to inform them?

The Information Commissioner’s Office guidance states that you must let people know when they are in an area where a surveillance system is in operation. The most effective way of doing this is by using prominently placed signs, which are particularly important where the surveillance systems are discreet or in locations where people might not expect to be under surveillance.

Signs should be clearly visible and legible, contain details of the organisation operating the system (if it is not obvious) and include basic contact details such as the website address or phone number.


One of our drivers was given a verbal warning by a police officer for flashing the vehicle headlights for what they deemed as no apparent reason. Is the police officer in their rights to give our driver a warning?

The police officer is within their rights as Highway Code (Rule 110) states: Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users. Furthermore (Rule 111) states: Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully.


Does a vehicle defect report pad need to be allocated to a driver or to the vehicle?

There is no right or wrong answer here as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Guide to maintaining roadworthiness states: “There must be a system of reporting and recording defects that may affect the roadworthiness of the vehicle,” so either method would achieve this. However, some operators find that giving the report pads to the driver means that their issue and use can be more effectively monitored, especially if the pads have serial numbers.


We recently interviewed a professional driver whose Category C+E was showing on ‘Check someone's driving licence information’ on GOV.UK as ‘C+E – unclaimed test pass’. Does the driver have the entitlement to drive in this category?

Once you have passed your test you must exchange your pass test certificate as soon as possible. Until this action has been undertaken then ‘unclaimed test pass’ will be showing under the relevant category so in this case under C+E. You will be able to drive a vehicle of the passed category holding your pass test certificate. Before sending to DVLA we would advise you have a photocopy of the certificate as evidence of the test pass.

It is worth noting that the exchange must be made within two years of the pass, or the entitlement gained will be lost, and a further practical and theory test must then be taken.


One of my drivers has been told that DVSA wants to see 15 minutes “other work” at the start of the day for a vehicle walkaround check. It doesn’t take him that long, so does he have to wait around until the 15 minutes are up?

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has not set a time limit as such and there is no specific legislation on the matter. Of course, there are offences for driving a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition and you are obliged to ensure your drivers carry out defect checks as part of your operator licence undertakings and so a proper check must be carried out. It is important that enough time is allowed for the completion of these checks and that staff are encouraged and trained to carry them out thoroughly.


One of our drivers has just informed the transport manager that they have a job interview at the weekend which would involve a driving assessment. Would the driver have to record the driving assessment?

The driver would still need to record their hours using their digital tachograph card. In this case the driver would close down their card as they would for the end of their shift on Friday. When the time comes for the assessment, the driver would have to firstly complete their manual entry in line with EU1054/2020, before the driving assessment starts. Once the interview/assessment is over the driver must comply fully with the daily/weekly rest requirements.


A driver left their digital card in the tachograph unit after the vehicle they were driving broke down and had to be recovered. I have been informed by the breakdown company that the driver would be unable to access the vehicle to remove his card until the vehicle is back at the workshop and the fault has been rectified. However, we would like the driver to continue the next morning in a spare vehicle and wanted to double-check: is he able to drive on print outs?

Unfortunately, the driver is not permitted to continue to drive using manual records whilst their digital card is awaiting removal from the tachograph unit.

Manual records are only permitted when the card is lost, stolen, or malfunctioning and has been reported to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). If the engineer determines that the digital card has been damaged whilst removing it from tachograph unit, the driver is permitted to carry on driving and use manual records for 15 calendar days.


Published On: 05/05/2022 16:00:31


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