Historically, it has been hard to penalise hauliers for exceeding drivers’ hours laws because they cannot be issued with a court summons.
Under a new consultation, proposals to bring in on-the-spot fines will be explored.
The proposals – which would mean officers could issue a penalty for offences committed up to 28 days after an offence – would also allow enforcement of the new HGV Road User Levy for similar periods. The Levy was introduced earlier this year to ensure foreign hauliers make a fair contribution towards UK revenue.
Stephen Hammond said: ‘The option to issue a fine for this offence would provide an effective weapon in the fight against irresponsible driving by both foreign and UK drivers.
‘This and the fact we introduced the new HGV Levy earlier this year shows we are determined to ensure UK drivers and their foreign competitors are on a level playing field.’
The move has been greeted by the Freight Transport Authority (FTA). Karen Dee, FTA's director of policy, said: ‘On-the spot fines are a well-established and effective way of ensuring that visiting operators and their drivers are held to account for any infringements, so it makes sense that the Government is looking to use this mechanism. FTA will now look closely at the detail of the proposals with members.’
The consultation runs until Monday 11th August 2014 and can be accessed here.