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OKRead

There is an old adage that says that what is bad for one person is good for another. This certainly applies to the concept of local councils clamping down on drivers guilty of parking and bus lane violations. And if the data is correct, fleet drivers are among the hardest hit in the recent clampdown. The primary beneficiaries have been bus drivers who have found their lanes easier to navigate.

Fleet News UK reports that drivers of all kinds racked up more than £4 million in parking fines and £1 million in bus lane violations in 2015. Those numbers represent increases of 39% and 58% respectively, since 2012. Company drivers using fleet vehicles as well as their own cars were among the worst offenders, having committed more than 53,200 of the total number of violations. That is up 17% from the year before and 3% from 2013.

Council officials have maintained that the clampdown is necessary to maintain the free flow of traffic. We cannot argue. One of the things we tell students in our bus driving licence programme is that they will run into traffic problems due to bus lane violations in congested urban areas. But even our warnings do not truly prepare them for the number of issues face in the real world.

According to Fleet News UK, the clampdown was meant to address company drivers who felt like they could get away with minor misdemeanours due to a lack of enforcement. That created a lot of problems that were easily avoidable through the use of bus lane cameras and a greater presence of traffic wardens. Councils that have invested in solving the problems have noted an increase in enforcement and the subsequent decrease in violations.

More Room for Improvement

We applaud the efforts of local councils to crack down on parking and bus lane violations. We also want to recognise that there are plenty of companies making the effort to work with their drivers in order to avoid such violations. Those companies want to avoid fines and penalties themselves, so it is in their best interests to address the issue. All of that said, there is still plenty more work to do.

Bus drivers have a particularly difficult job to begin with. Already having to transport passengers safely despite a variety of weather conditions and other factors beyond their control, they do not need the additional pressure of having to work around traffic blocking bus lanes. We owe it to our bus drivers to keep lanes open so that we don’t make their jobs harder.

The idea of bus lane violations notwithstanding, bus driving is an excellent career for people who like to be out and about throughout the day. It offers competitive pay, the opportunity to meet all sorts of interesting people, and days that are certainly never dull. We can train you to get your bus driving licence if you are interested in becoming a professional.

Sources:

Fleet News UK – https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2016/03/24/council-clampdown-sees-fines-soar-for-fleet-drivers-1

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