Vosa is cracking down on LGV drivers who took their test after September 2009 and are driving illegally because they have not acquired their Initial Driver CPC.
Drivers who acquired their LGV licence before September 2009 have until September 2014 to get their Driver CPC, by completing 35 hours of periodic training.
Most professional drivers who have taken their first LGV test since September 2009 are required to pass all four modules of the test, and so obtain their Driver Qualification Card (DQC).
While there are exemptions from the need to obtain a DQC, it is estimated that there are thousands of LGV drivers who took their test since September 2009 but failed to complete Module 4.
Vosa told MT that between June 2011 and October 2012 it issued 30 fixed penalty notices for the Driver CPC offence of “no evidence of training or exemption from the requirement”, of which 26 were to LGV drivers and four to PCV drivers.
In 2010, Vosa prosecuted one LGV driver for two offences, for not having a driving licence and for not having a Driver CPC. The outcome was that no separate penalty was imposed for the Driver CPC offence. No operator has been taken to a public inquiry for this type of offence.
Drivers and employers can be fined up to £1,000 for failing to carry a DQC while driving an LGV, unless they are covered by exemptions such as work where driving is not the driver’s main occupation.
Senior traffic commissioner Beverley Bell has called on Vosa to strictly enforce the Driver CPC regulations and pledged to bring operators that are found flouting the rules to book.
Sean Pargeter, owner of hgvlgvtraining.co.uk, said: “It’s good to see that Vosa is enforcing, and being seen to enforce, the Initial Driver CPC qualification. Previously with light or no enforcement there was little incentive or demand for new drivers to get the qualification card. More awareness is needed to get the Initial Driver CPC message to new entrants and employers.”
While training companies can advise new drivers of the need to pass Module 4 before driving an LGV professionally, DVLA does not check that drivers have completed the Initial Driver CPC before issuing a new LGV licence.