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Our latest Junction 17 Newsletter

April / May 2020:  NL3                          

 

 

Welcome to our third Newsletter for 2020. It has clearly been a year to remember hopefully by the time you receive this letter things will be showing some signs of change and we will be taking steps towards a return to normality. Unfortunately, it may still be a slow process.

 

In January we drew up our first Newsletter of the year but due to events that overcame the country at that time we did not publish as widely as we wished, to recap on our theme from our January Newsletter, I thought it may be advantageous to include extracts in this edition as well as news and information that has occurred recently:

 

CPC Training.

     

For drivers that already held their vocational licence when the Driver CPC legislation began back in 2008 (Bus) /2009 (LGV). Their next five-year period commenced in September 2019 this expires in September 2024 other drivers who gained vocational licences after the start of the legislation concerning periodic training will be subject to a different date range. It is the responsibility for every vocational driver to ensure that their training is Up to Date. It is also a requirement for employers to ensure that they do not employ drivers that have not maintained their Driver CPC and hold a current Driver Qualification Card. Junction 17 are keen to encourage customers to complete their training annually by sending drivers on one course per year rather than wait until the final few months. In our last Newsletter we advised that we were running remote training of Driver CPC. Several drivers have taken the opportunity to maintain their Driver CPC training already we have so far delivered 8 courses in April and have more booked in May. If you wish to join one of our courses contact our office to book your place.

 

The advantages of annual training are: to employers, that the driver is only away from work for 7 hours per year rather than 35 hours in a mass block. The advantage to the driver is their knowledge is updated regularly keeping abreast of any current changes in legislation and Road Safety Practices rather than waiting for 5 years before being informed of any changes that have taken place.

 

There is still some criticism that drivers are able to repeat the same course 5 times and we aim to avoid that, by providing a wide range of course subject matter.

There are some courses, such as first aid, which are beneficial for drivers to repeat.  These courses are really important to do and it is good practice to keep your knowledge up to date.

However, just repeating a course because it’s cheap or easily accessible is not a good use of your time or money. This is not the ethos of Driver CPC which is aimed at enhancing knowledge and understanding not just ticking boxes.  Even if you’ve been driving for many years, it’s important to refresh your skills and update your knowledge.

If you are an employer, keeping your drivers up-to-date with the latest rules and vehicle technologies can help reduce running costs to your business.

We are a flexible training provider; we will endeavour to deliver around your availability. If you have a quiet time of the year, that is perhaps a good time to get the drivers booked in. During the recent lockdown period several drivers responded to our last newsletter and booked on the remote courses we were holding.  We will be contacting clients over the next few weeks with the aim of confirming dates for training.

 

We will also be holding open courses for individual drivers every three months, details of these and dates will be on our website. www.junction17.net

 

Training of Junction 17 Training Team:

To ensure that our training team are able to provide you with up to date knowledge they too have to attend periodic training sessions.

 

As part of our Training Teams Continuous Professional Development day we invited along a guest speaker from the DVSA who is a DVSA examiner.

 

Amongst the subjects covered was the importance of the daily walk around checks, he stressed that if they are not completed fully, the DVSA and their enforcement team look at this as an indicator of other possible underlying issues that can show an unprofessional attitude of the driver and the employer.

 

He spoke quite candidly about things that bring drivers to their notice and how a simple point like having a clear dashboard and windscreen can identify if a driver has a professional attitude and approach to his/her responsibilities. It is an offence to have an obscured windscreen.

 

A recent case brought before the Traffic Commissioners involved a lorry driver had a tray fitted to the windscreen and its contents obscured his view of the road.

 

As a result of this he failed to see a cyclist at traffic lights and the rider was killed.

 

There was evidence that the employer was aware of the tray as it was removed for the MOT and then refitted afterwards.

 

At court the driver received 21 months imprisonment and the firm was fined £115,000

Other Training Support offered by Junction 17

 

A recent bulletin from the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (19th December 2019) stressed

the importance of employers making checks on their drivers Driving Licences (Copy of bulletin is produced below).

Junction 17 offer a number of training packages to support you when you are developing a Road Risk Strategy. One aspect is the checking of Driving Licences and their validity for more details of this contact our offices

 

  • Driving Licence validity                                 

 

 

 

Checking driver licences online

DVLA service available for employers

Making sure your drivers are properly licensed to drive commercial vehicles is really important.

As a compliant operator, you’ll be carrying out regular checks to confirm your drivers have the right entitlements.

You also need to be sure there’s no action recorded against their licences, such as a suspension or disqualification.

With the DVLA check someone's driving licence information service you can do these checks online.

The driver has to log in and give you permission to access their details.

To find out more, watch this short video from the DVLA.

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

 

 


Junction 17 offer training packages to assist clients in developing robust

Road Risk Strategies:

·       OLAT Training courses 1- & 2-day duration           

Our OLAT courses provide your staff with an appreciation and understanding of Operator Licencing

 

(16th January 2020)

Trust is key in operator licensing

Traffic Commissioner said persistent non-compliance left operator unfit to hold a licence

The entire Operator Licensing regime is built around trust and honesty between the traffic commissioners and operators. The traffic commissioners need absolute certainty that those operating within the commercial transport industry can be trusted to carry out operations in a safe and lawful manner.

An operator saw its licence application refused at a public inquiry for failing to show any respect for the application process or for the laws within the industry as a whole.

The operator persistently ignored warnings not to operate without the correct licence in place, and was stopped by DVSA on a number of occasions doing exactly that, even after being explicitly advised of the legalities.

It took over 2 months for the operator to submit an application for a licence, continuing to operate illegally during that process and leaving other compliant operators, following the correct procedures, at an unfair disadvantage.

At the inquiry, the operator failed to produce any requested evidence in support of its application, claiming it was not aware it was doing anything wrong.

Transport commissioner for West Midlands, Nick Denton, concluded the operator could not be trusted to operate within the confines of the law and refused the application for an operator’s licence.

You can view written decisions made by traffic commissioners here.

 

If you require further information on these training packages or wish to discuss how we may assist in helping you to develop your Road Risk Strategy please don’t hesitate to contact our office who will be happy to help.

  (17th December 2019)

Bridge Strikes at an unacceptable level 

Traffic Commissioners' Annual Report

   

Regulators say regulatory action is “a real possibility” for those failing to take the necessary steps

A hot topic discussed in the recent Commissioners’ Annual Report is the disappointing number of incidents within the industry where a vehicle collides with a bridge.

In addition to the potentially catastrophic road safety issues, there are serious financial implications to these accidents, as well as travel delays for commuters.

With instances of drivers being left to plan routes without access to information needed to avoid these collisions, the transport regulators warn operators to treat the issue seriously and take responsibility.

Some of the common causes of bridge strikes are:

  • Drivers taking short cuts whilst engaged on “not in service” journeys
    • Staff with insufficient route knowledge returning a vehicle to depot
    • Drivers taking a double deck vehicle on a single deck route
    • Misunderstanding of road signs

To minimise the risk of bridge strikes, always:

  • Know your vehicle height and width
    • Know your route in and out of service
    • Understand and obey traffic signs
    • Carry out adequate risk-based assessments
    • Provide drivers with route conversion charts

The Guidance on preventing Bridge Strikes written by Network Rail is an invaluable tool for operators, transport managers and drivers. This information in this document should be thoroughly understood and readily available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(20th April 2020)

Traffic Commissioners issue guidance on remote auditing

 

The Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain have today (20 April 2020) issued guidance on carrying out remote audits during the coronavirus outbreak.

The traffic commissioners recognise that operators are currently working in unprecedented and difficult times, so they have agreed accept compliance audits remotely. The remote auditing guidance sets out minimum standards for remote auditing.

Read 'Traffic Commissioners issue guidance on remote auditing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak'

 (23rd April 2020)

 

HSE eBulletin

Latest advice to distribution centres on social distancing for drivers during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is below.

Advice to distribution centres and other sites on maintaining social distancing for drivers

Loading and unloading goods vehicles can put drivers and other workers at risk. It is important to consider all risks to the health, safety, and welfare of drivers delivering to and collecting from sites, and take reasonable and practical steps to safeguard drivers and mitigate risk to their health and safety.

Many dutyholders manage the safety of visiting drivers in line with HSE Guidance by providing a dedicated waiting area with welfare facilities for drivers.

 

This helps to reduce the risks of unintended drive-away incidents during loading or unloading and of drivers being struck by fork lift trucks or other vehicles if they are walking around the site.

 

At the current time, it is important to maintain social distancing as much as possible to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and Public Health England guidelines on social distancing should be followed. Those in control of premises should think about how they maintain social distancing for visiting drivers while also ensuring that they have access to welfare facilities on site.

 

If existing facilities allow drivers to maintain social distancing, there may be no need to make any changes. However, if social distancing cannot be maintained, it may be safer, as a temporary measure for drivers to remain in their cab during loading or unloading or waiting areas to be relocated.

 

If changes are made to current arrangements, further consideration will need to be given to how pedestrians and vehicles can continue to circulate in a safe manner, avoiding the risk of drive-away incidents and how drivers can be allowed to safely access welfare facilities if required.

 

Visiting drivers must follow the arrangements that the duty holder has put in place and follow the government’s advice on hand washing.

 

Next Newsletter.

Our intention this year is to issue Newsletters when notable changes take place that we can support you with, we will try to keep you up to date with both our news and Legislation Our next Newsletter we hope to bring to you early in June. It is quite a special one for us as we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary we look forward to working with you again soon.