The current figures show that nearly 800,000 drivers are engaged in Driver CPC and just over 564,000 have completed their 35 hours’ training. And in July 2014 alone, over 1.1 million hours of training were logged.
The latest figures also show that 24,245,741 hours of periodic training have been taken by professional drivers since 2008.
Drivers and their employers must stay on top of their Driver CPC training requirements or risk being fined and even losing their livelihood, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Office of the Traffic Commissioner have warned.
Existing drivers were awarded “acquired rights” which took their previous experience into account and allowed them 5 years to do their first block of 35 hours’ training. The deadline is now a month away and DVSA is urging all “acquired rights” drivers to make sure they complete their 35 hours before 10 September 2014.
Commenting on the available courses, Joan Aitken, lead traffic commissioner on Driver CPC, said:’Driver CPC is not an optional extra. The industry has been given plenty of notice of the deadline and any offences will be reported to traffic commissioners.
‘Vocational licence holders and operators could find themselves appearing before commissioners if drivers are found working without their driver qualification card (DQC), or fail to produce it.
‘Traffic commissioners were pleased to see a high level of compliance by operators and drivers ahead of the deadline for the bus and coach industry a year ago. We very much hope that the goods industry will prove to be on the ball too and that the need for prosecutions or referrals to traffic commissioners will be limited.’
Driving without the DQC, or failing to produce it, carries a maximum fine of £1,000 – for both the driver and the operator licence holder. These offences will be referred to the Traffic Commissioner. The Traffic Commissioner will then consider what action to take and this could include suspending the driver’s licence and/or the operator’s licence.
Since the introduction of Driver CPC, 245 drivers have received a fixed penalty for failing to produce evidence at the roadside, of which 124 were HGV drivers and 121 PSV drivers. 22 of these were foreign drivers who should have had Driver CPC.
DVSA have also reported 143 cases to the court for prosecution involving 123 defendants (drivers and operators). Of these, 23 were from the bus and coach industry and the remainder were from the haulage industry. The majority of these cases were successfully prosecuted with fines of up to £1000.