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When the Industrial HGV Task Force (IHTF) was first organised in 2013, it was done so under the premise of cracking down on firms and company drivers who were not obeying the law when operating commercial vehicles in London. The task force has been making good on that promise ever since. In the latest examples of the agency’s success, two firms and a handful of company drivers have been penalised for a number of different violations.

The first company, Cowan Plant, has lost both its licence to operate and its FORS accreditation; transport manager Fiona MacLeod has also been indefinitely disqualified from holding a similar position in the future. Allowing an improperly licenced driver to operate company vehicles was just one of the charges brought to bear against the company and its management.

Action was also taken by the traffic Commissioner against Space Rubbish and two of its drivers. One driver was disqualified from operating an LGV for one year after being convicted of failing to take the necessary rest breaks. A second driver lost his licence for 28 days because of issues with mandatory rest breaks. Space Rubbish was required by the Commissioner to suspend operations for one week.

Since 2013, the IHTF has pulled over more than 3,800 vehicles suspected of being in violation. Just under 50 vehicles have been seized while more than 1,700 prohibitions and 1,000 fixed penalty notices have been issued to drivers. It has been a very good 14 months for the task force.

Being a Responsible Driver

The law makes it abundantly clear that both company drivers and their employers have certain legal obligations. Stories like this also make it clear that the IHTF and Traffic Commissioner are going to aggressively enforce the law in London. Drivers’ best bet for staying out of trouble is making sure of legal compliance at all times. The minute the driver steps outside the law, the law will catch up to him/her.

One of our missions here at the HGV Training Centre is to make sure our students are fully versed is what the law requires of them. Obviously, we cannot watch over their shoulders to ensure compliance after they graduate and get to work. However, we do our best to instil in our students a sense of obligation that we hope will carry through their entire careers.

We cannot say enough how important it is for company drivers to follow all the rules – including taking the necessary rest breaks. A driver willing to go the extra mile in this regard is a driver that will also do the same for both the employer and client. That is what we strive for at the HGV Training Centre.

We offer commercial driver training to students hoping to operate HGVs, LGVs, coaches, buses, heavy construction equipment, and more. Our training is fast-paced, highly focused and proven successful. We are ready to train you as an independent or company driver whenever you are ready.

Sources:

  1. Fleet News UK – http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/2014/12/30/hgv-taskforce-takes-action-against-dangerous-operators/54428/

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