17 April 2018
Operator licence holders and transport managers have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the rules on drivers’ hours and records, overloading and driver licensing are kept to. This responsibility is enshrined in the undertaking that forms part of the declaration made at the time of applying for an O-licence and penalties, up to and including loss of the O-licence and personal disqualification, may be levied if it is not observed. This is an onerous duty and not made any easier by the fact that one of the distinguishing characteristics of the transport industry is its dispersed nature. This means that much of the time operations go on at a distance from where the manager is, so he or she cannot hope to supervise them personally to ensure compliance with the law. In this article, Richard Smith aims to provide some guidance and help, and summarises the top four offences resulting from encounters with inspectors, at the roadside or on visits to the premises.