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A recent incident in Kent underscores the need for driver CPC training within the haulage and transport industries. The incident in question involved a 40-year-old HGV driver from Turkey who was caught operating a vehicle while watching a film on a laptop computer.

News reports say the driver was first spotted swerving between lanes on the M20 near Ashford. Police were dispatched, finally locating the lorry near J6. He had travelled nearly 20 miles and, to the dismay of police, was still watching the film when they approached his vehicle. Police escorted the HGV to the A228 layby.

Police fined the driver £500 for operating a vehicle without being in control. They also prevented him from resuming his journey because he was unable to immediately pay the fine. The matter was eventually settled and the driver went on its way.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Kent Online reports that a woman driving a Nissan Micra was stopped on the M1 two weeks ago after she was seen reading a book while driving. While most motorists have the common sense to give their full attention to the task of driving, there are some who appear to not understand the dangers of distracted driving.

The recent incidents have led police and private safety advocates to remind drivers of the dangers of driving distracted. Any type of distraction, from eating to using a mobile phone, drastically increases the likelihood the driver will be in an accident. Driving distracted should never be done; it is simply unsafe.

Driver CPC Requirements

The driver CPC requirements among HGV and PCV drivers may not be popular, but these are designed to prevent as many of these kinds of incidents as possible. The certificate of professional competence (CPC) is documentation that a driver has completed 35 hours of training, in addition to his or her normal training, showing he or she is competent in performing the job safely and lawfully.

Although possessing a CPC certificate would not have necessarily prevented this Turkish driver from behaving so recklessly, the regular training serves as a reminder that certain types of behaviour are unacceptable behind the wheel. It also serves as a further reminder to drivers that their actions are being monitored.

The HGV Training Centre provides the training necessary to fulfil driver CPC requirements. All of our new students automatically undergo CPC training as part of their regular course of studies. Veteran drivers who have not yet been certified can sign up for our CPC training classes at more than 45 facilities around the country.

Whether you are an independent driver or a fleet operator, do not forget that the CPC deadline is fast approaching. There are now little more than three months remaining until all HGV drivers must be certified. Failure to receive training could result in a £1,000 fine and loss of employment. Operators can also be punished for allowing non-certified drivers to continue working. This is being enforced, so do not take it lightly.

Sources:

Kent Online – https://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/news/hgv-driver-watches-film-on-m20-17999/

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