HGV Drivers & Operators
As a HGV Driver or Operator we appreciate that your licence is essential to your likelihood. We also appreciate that HGV drivers are at far greater risk of being stopped by the police or other regulatory bodies, such as VOSA. The consequences can be far reaching.
HGV Legislation & Regulation
Over and above the road traffic laws that apply to all drivers, the vast number of additional rules and regulations imposed on HGV Drivers and Operators can make like very difficult. Compliance is often confusing and expensive. A failure to comply is, at best, costly and at worse can result in criminal proceedings and loss of licence.
Traffic Commissioner Hearings
Criminal court proceedings, VOSA inspections and Transport Commissioner Hearings can all put your commercial licence at risk. This is a complex area of the law. Even minor breaches can result in court proceedings and referral hearings to the Traffic Commissioner.
The rules and regulations governing HGV Drivers and Operators is often complicated and difficult. This is why you should always seek advice from a specialist road traffic lawyer who will ensure that
- Proceedings are properly brought and justified
- Technical issues are not missed
- Defences are investigated, prepared and properly presented
We understand the regulations relating to HGV Drivers and Operators and our expertise can help you in all these areas, including:
- Tachograph Offences
- Breaches of EU Regulations
- Public Inquiries
- Driver Conduct Hearings
- Operator Licence Conditions
- Drivers Hours
- Construction & Use Offences
- Overloading & Insecure Loads
- Unlicensed Driving
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Traffic Commissioner: Role & Powers
Traffic Commissioners are responsible for licensing and regulating Drivers and Operators of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), public service vehicles (PSVs) and local bus services.
Traffic Commissioners also determine whether an Operator is of good repute and professional competence and the fitness of a HGV Driver to hold a licence based on their conduct. Their responsibilities also extend to Transport Managers and other CPC holders.
The powers of a Traffic Commissioner are wide-ranging and include:
- Refusal of Licence Application
- Curtailment of licence
- Suspension of Licence
- Revocation of Licence
A public inquiry is a formal hearing held by a Traffic Commissioner. There are three main types of public inquiry:
- To consider an application for a new operator’s licence or a variation of an existing licence where there are concerns that the operator is not satisfying all the regulations to hold a licence;
- To consider an application for a new operator’s licence or a variation to an existing licence where there are environmental concerns:
- To consider any shortcomings of an existing operator’s licence and to determine whether regulatory action is required.
At a public inquiry to determine an application the Traffic Commissioner will consider evidence from the applicant and if required any valid opposition to the application. When reviewing an operating centre the Traffic Commissioner will consider evidence from the operator and any valid
objections. In regulatory cases the Traffic Commissioner will consider evidence from the operator and usually evidence provided by VOSA or other regulatory authorities.
In all public inquiries the Traffic Commissioner may also hear from additional witnesses and, if the Traffic Commissioner considers it appropriate, may be assisted by a financial assessor.
When a Traffic Commissioner has received valid opposition to an application, the Traffic Commissioner may consider that it is appropriate to hold a public inquiry. This gives all interested parties an opportunity to present their case to the Traffic Commissioner.
A Traffic Commissioner may decide that a public inquiry is necessary in order to clarify information that has been received, which raises concerns. Additionally, a Traffic Commissioner must hold a public inquiry if regulatory action is being considered against an existing licence and the operator requests a hearing. Furthermore, a Traffic Commissioner must hold a public inquiry if regulatory action is being considered against a Transport Manager’s good repute and/or professional competence.
Driver Conduct Hearings
All HGV Licenses are issued by the Traffic Commissioner. The Traffic Commissioner has the power to refuse, revoke or suspend a driver’s licence. Where such a course of action is being considered the Traffic Commissioner can call a driver to a Conduct Hearing.
A licence may be refused, revoked or suspended because the conduct of the driver has been called into question. This usually arises where the driver has been convicted of a road traffic offence relating to a road safety issue, such as:
- Mobile Phone Use
- Careless or Dangerous Driving
- Tachograph Offences
- Driver’s Hours
At a Driver Conduct Hearing details of the conduct that have triggered the hearing will be set out. Thereafter the driver will have an opportunity to to give an explanation and to present other information that will be considered by the Traffic Commissioner before a decision is made. Expert legal representation at a Conduct Hearing can help to ensure that the most relevant information is presented to the Traffic Commissioner to achieve the best outcome.
How we can help
If you are a new driver and you think your licence is at risk you should contact us for further information. There is almost always something that can be done. Our experience and expertise in this area will quickly determine all the options that might be available to you. We pride ourselves in offering a service that is friendly, reliable and honest. As specialist road traffic lawyers we pride ourselves in offering the right advice. For free advice that is without pressure or obligation simply contact us:
E-Mail Us Today or Tel: 0141 255 1519