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Our latest newsletter giving you an update on the current situation.

 

March/April 2020: Corona Virus

Welcome to our second Newsletter of 2020. It is a very different world we are living and working in at the moment and a big change from January.

I hope this finds you well and that you are all keeping safe. You will no doubt have had to make changes to your own working environment and will have seen changes in how you conduct business at the moment.  

I thought this may be a good opportunity to tell you what we at Junction 17 have been up to and how we have developed some new systems to allow us to support you during this period of restricted movement.

 

New at Junction 17

 

We have developed Remote Training Packages that can be delivered by our training team working from their homes, direct to our clientele using the Zoom Platform.

To take part in on-line training with Junction 17 Defensive Driver Training Ltd. delegates will need the following equipment:

A computer with a high speed and reliable broadband internet connection for each candidate.


Google Chrome installed as your default internet browser, download from here-  https://www.google.com/chrome/


Sound system including both speaker and microphone.

A web cam.

For more details of what packages, we have available please contact us via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We have been in contact with the DVSA/JAUPT and obtained their agreement that we can now deliver some of our Driver CPC Courses remotely. They are allowing remote deliveries  just for the period of restrictions on movement.

Please contact Suzanne via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book any Driver CPC courses you may wish to arrange during this period.

Other Road Risk Training, that have theory packages will also lend themselves to Remote Delivery, please contact us for more detail of how we may be able to support you and your staff during this period of restricted movement.

Earlier versions of the newsletter advised of free downloads for an NHS Poster and a toolbox talk - unfortunately these are no longer available due to technical difficulties.       

 

 

 

 

 

Latest News from:

3rd April 2020

       

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update:

changes to professional driver

requirements

The Government has announced temporary changes to professional driver requirements as part of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Driver CPC periodic training

During the coronavirus outbreak, it may be difficult for drivers to complete their periodic training. The Department for Transport has therefore put in place temporary changes to professional driver qualification requirements.

Professional lorry and bus drivers whose Driver Qualification Card (DQC) expires in the period 1 March 2020 to 30 September 2020 can continue driving.

Drivers should continue to carry their expired DQC during this period. 

Find out more about the updated guidance and keep up to date with all official government advice on coronavirus

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Information of How Coronavirus has impacted Drivers and Transport

The below articles were supplied and written by DAC Beachcroft.

COVID-19: Relaxation of Drivers' Hours Rules

Published 1 April 2020

Authors: Charlotte Le Maire and Ash Sharma

In order to assist with the delivery and supply of goods during the Covid-19 outbreak, the Department of Transport has announced the temporary relaxation and enforcement of GB and EU drivers’ hours rules relating to the carriage of goods by road.

The relaxation of these rules is due to end at 23:59 on 21 April 2020, but given the projected trajectory of the outbreak and the consequent demand upon essential services, it is entirely possible that the relaxation of the rules will be extended.

The EU drivers’ hours rules are temporarily relaxed as follows:

  1. a) Replacement of the EU daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 11 hours
  2. b) Reduction of the daily rest requirements from 11 to 9 hours
  3. c) Lifting the weekly (56 hours) and fortnightly driving limits (90 hours) to 60 and 96 hours respectively
  4. d) Postponement of the requirement to start a weekly rest period after six 24 hours periods, for after seven 24 hours period; although 2 regular weekly rest periods or a regular and a reduced weekly rest
    period will still be required within a fortnight
  5. e) The requirements for daily breaks of 45 minutes after 4.5 hours driving replaced with a break of 45 minutes after 5.5 hours of driving

Drivers must not use relaxation ‘a’ and ‘d’ at the same time. This is to ensure drivers are able to get adequate rest.

The GB drivers’ hours rules are temporarily relaxed as follows:

  1. a) Replacement of the GB duty time limit of 11 hours with 12 hours
  2. b) Replacement of the GB daily driving time limit of 10 hours with 11 hours

Drivers can only take advantage of this temporary relaxation 5 days in any 7 day period, and must take a rest period of 24 hours within the same 7 day period when taking advantage of this relaxation.

The DfT have emphasised that it is of course vital that driver safety should not be compromised and drivers should not be expected to drive whilst tired. The relaxation of these rules have been introduced in response to these unprecedented times. These rules should only be used when necessary, otherwise normal drivers’ hours rules should be followed.

Richard Burnett of the Road Hauliers Association echoed this when he said “The relaxation in hours will not reduce the levels of enforcement of the drivers’ hours. It is vital that companies only use these relaxed rules when needed and companies must monitor drivers to ensure they do not drive tired or in any way unfit. The need for compliance with the rules is absolute. This relaxation must be used wisely, not abused recklessly.”

On the subject of driver’s welfare, it is important to remember that drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work. While Regulations 20 and 21 of The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 stipulate that sanitary and handwashing facilities must be provided in a workplace, at this time the use of such facilities to prevent the further spread of infection is more essential than ever.

The HSE have said they will update their guidance in light of the current pandemic. We will of course keep you appraised of any further updates.

 

COVID-19: Impact on Drivers, Companies & the Criminal Law

Published 1 April 2020

Authors: Charlotte Le Maire and Ash Sharma

With all public services under increasing pressure due to coronavirus (COVID-19), we consider the increased risks to the individual drivers, issues that companies are facing during this challenging period and the impact that this crisis might have on the investigation and prosecution of road traffic collisions.

Police Investigations

Over the coming months, police resources are likely to be stretched to their limit as, inevitably, the number of officers self-isolating and therefore unable to work will increase. According to recent news reports, certain offences will be ignored if a critical tipping point in relation to the police’s ability to deliver services is reached and officers will be redeployed to ‘critical activities’ such as 999 calls and what is deemed to be serious crime. Priority will not be given to ongoing pre-charge cases or to traffic collision prevention. We should therefore expect a delay with ongoing matters meaning that vehicles will be held for longer and uncertainty in relation to a driver’s future will be extended.

Prosecutions for minor collisions are likely to fall, given that the police are unlikely to have the resources to attend the scene of the collision.

In terms of serious road traffic collisions, the message from the police is that it is very much business as usual. However, in practice, we are finding that unless the police interviews are urgent (such as where a driver is arrested immediately following a serious or fatal collision), they are being delayed. The six-month time limit for prosecuting summary offences such as driving without due care and attention does not apply to more serious and fatal road traffic collisions and so the police are likely to postpone the interview in such cases in the knowledge that no time limitations apply.

It seems inevitable that the timescales for police investigations will be extended. In a system in which it can already take 12-18 months for a charging decision, the reality is that this is likely to increase. Inevitably it also means that the key investigations in high value civil claims will also be delayed.

Hearings and Trials

Many criminal courts are already operating at capacity and, in reality, cases are likely to take even longer to reach trial. Road traffic cases often take 2 years to reach trial and the expectation is that this will increase dramatically during this period.

The Lord Chief Justice has set out the latest position in relation to Crown Courts, with over one half of the Court Estate closing to the public with effect from the morning of 30 March 2020.

“My unequivocal position is that no jury trials or other physical hearings can take place unless it is safe for them to do so. A particular concern is to ensure social distancing in court and in the court building. This morning no new trials are to start. Jurors summoned for this week are being contacted to ask them to remain at home, and contact the court they are due to attend. They will only be asked to come in for trials where specific arrangements to ensure safety have been put in place. In some cases, this may mean that jurors may be called in to start a new trial later on Monday. All hearings in the Crown Court that can lawfully take place remotely should do so and other hearings not involving a jury should continue if suitable arrangements can be made to ensure distancing.”

Insofar as part-heard jury trials are concerned, the announcements added that efforts to bring these to a conclusion should continue, ensuring that social distancing and other safety measures are in place.

Magistrates’ Courts have adopted a similar position in that most are dealing with urgent custody cases only and if possible, their position is that “all hearings that can lawfully take place remotely should do so if the facilities exist.” As every criminal case starts in the Magistrates’ Court, and given the lack of such properly functioning digital facilities across many of these courts, this is likely to contribute to further issues with progressing cases.

All non-urgent hearings, including sentences, are being adjourned to a later date, exacerbating an already congested system.

Whilst technology may enable a number of hearings to be held remotely, in non-custody cases many people will not have access to the technology required and therefore limited progress will be made in many cases currently in the system.

The longer this period of ‘lockdown’ lasts, the bigger the backlog for the criminal courts and the greater the disruption to a system already under huge strain.

Relaxation of Regulations: Effect on Collision Rates

In my view, the relaxation of regulations in relation to road transport sees the most significant change that have been brought into place during this crisis and has the potential for devastating consequences.

The view of many is:

“There are fewer cars on the road, hence the number and frequency of RTC’s will reduce”

It is, perhaps, fair comment. Fewer cars on the road may well lead to fewer collisions, although given that this is a fluid situation in terms of the measures in place, it is difficult to predict just how much of an effect this might have longer term.

However, there are many other risk factors to be considered other than the number of cars on the road. Part of the Government’s response to tackle this crisis is to help supermarkets and other corporations who provide essential delivery services to do this much more quickly – in effect sacrificing the usual training and checks that would normally accompany such recruitment.

Therefore regulations regarding professional driving have already been relaxed to ensure the supply chain continues to operate as efficiently as possible.

The new HSE guidance can be found here:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/news/drivers-transport-deliverycoronavirus.htm

This includes an exemption for MOT for lorries, buses and trailers from 21 March 2020 for 3 months (which may be extended). The situation is more complicated still for car and motorcycle owners. For MOT’s due up to 29 March 2020, they must be carried out IF you are not self-isolating with symptoms or IF you are NOT in the ‘vulnerable group’. For the full guidance, click below.

http://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-mots-forcars-vans-and-motorcycles-due-from-30-march-2020

For MOT’s falling due after 29 March 2020, they are to be extended up to 6 months but ‘you must keep your vehicle safe’.

What are the implications of this? Yes, drivers are responsible for keeping their vehicle roadworthy during this time but can every driver know about every potential issue that an MOT could expose? Are we all being exposed to greater risks by potentially having un-roadworthy vehicles on the roads? This may well lead to an increased number of collisions. The big question is: what will the police attitude be to such collisions in light of the relaxation of the regulations?

Clearly, this is an issue for companies and individual drivers alike to consider.

Another significant change is a relaxation of rules for drivers under the European Union drivers’ hours rules or the GB drivers’ hours rules, in relation to the carriage of goods in all sectors, effective from 23 March until 21 April 2020. This applies to the transport of all essential goods such as food, medical equipment and medication.

The longer this period of ‘lockdown’ lasts, the bigger the backlog for the criminal courts and the greater the disruption to a system already under huge strain.

Clearly, the relaxation of a key rule which helps to protect both the driver and other road users may cause significant issues. Perhaps one of the most significant statements from the HSE is:

“We are clear that driver safety must not be compromised, and they should not be expected to drive whilst tired. Employers remain responsible for the health and safety of their employees, other road users, and anyone involved in loading and unloading vehicles”

Whilst the guidance indicates that this decision is an exceptional contingency measure and must only be used where necessary, this does leave both the driver and employer open to risk. It’s not hard to predict that we may see an increase in fatigue related collisions. The new guidance puts the onus essentially on the driver to decide where a departure from the rules is ‘necessary’ and to decide themselves when they feel ‘tired’ enough to take a break. If a collision were to occur, it’s true to say the driver would still be investigated, but the investigation would clearly also be directed towards the company.

Finally, with delivery drivers being recruited at breakneck speed are proper checks always being carried out on those applying for these jobs to ensure that the driver has the necessary skills and experience?

With the above in mind, companies need to consider their position carefully as to what updated policies should be in place during this exceptional period and the guidance that they should provide to their drivers.

 

 

Next edition of our News Letter

 

We have not yet set a date for the next publication of our News Letter as we intend to publish any new important information as it occurs. I hope that publication carries with it some happier and positive news that the restrictions have started to ease and a little more normality has returned to our living and work lives. In the interim if we can assist you with any of our new training packages or support you in other ways please don’t hesitate to contact us. I look forward to working with you during the coming months and that you all keep fit and well. 

 

Junction 17 Defensive Driver Training Ltd.