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OKRead

The International Road Transport Union (IRTU) took the occasion of a recent conference in Bulgaria to call for better road enforcement among agencies across the European Union. In so doing, the IRTU also commended the conference organisers, Euro Contrôle Route, for the actions it has already taken to create more uniform enforcement. The organisation and its members have been working together over the years to create a number of initiatives providing practical tools that operators and inspectors can use to ensure legal compliance.

In its official comments of the conference, the IRTU called for more and better training among inspectors and other enforcement officials. It also called for the implementation of new policies and inspection checklists that would assist in uniform roadside enforcement activities regardless of where in the EU an inspector and vehicle were located.

At this time, the initiatives are still in their infancy. Expanding the programmes further will require additional funding which might eventually be raised through fees and taxes on the transport and haulage industries. For example, the cost of increased inspector training could be passed along to companies like ours, resulting in higher HGV training costs for students. Road user fees and higher enforcement fees could also be part of the equation.

All of this is just speculation for now. Whether or not there will be legitimate joint efforts to strengthen uniform enforcement across the EU remains to be seen. Resistance to more centralised EU power has been growing among some member countries in recent years, so there is no telling how many would go along with centralising road enforcement. Furthermore, making enforcement uniform across the EU would require some member countries to drastically change their own regulations. The appetite may not yet be strong enough to see the idea through.

UK Enforcement

While uniform road enforcement does not seem likely in the EU in the near future, UK road enforcement continues to be a top priority for the DVLA and the police. Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in enforcement of the CPC regulations first rolled out last autumn. Enforcement of the recently implemented road user fee in the UK has also been a priority.

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As a professional driver or operator, make no mistake that road enforcement is a big priority all across Britain. Drivers need to make sure they know and understand all of the laws that apply to them, and that they follow those laws to the letter. Operators need to take the time to make sure their drivers are properly trained and their vehicles routinely inspected.

Yes, legal compliance does mean operating costs are somewhat higher. However, that is part of being involved in the transport and haulage industries. We believe we are doing our part at the HGV Training Centre by keeping fleet and individual HGV training costs as low as possible.

The HGV Training Centre operates more than 60 facilities around the UK. We train both individual and company drivers for every class of commercial vehicle.

Sources:

HGV UK – http://www.hgvuk.com/06/25/iru-calls-harmonised-enforcement-across-eu/

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