A significant number of HGV drivers who have taken their test since September 2009 are breaking the law, as they do not have the necessary initial Driver CPC qualification, and it would also appear VOSA is turning a blind eye to enforcement, according to Sean Pargeter, owner of training website www.nolgvbrokers.co.uk
Using figures obtained from the Driver Standards Agency (DSA) under the Freedom of Information Act, Pargeter warns that thousands of drivers are driving illegally as they have not obtained their Initial Driver CPC qualification.
Yet in the 12 months to September 2010, VOSA only issued three fixed penalty notices to drivers for failing to hold an initial Driver CPC qualification card.
From 10 September 2009, EU Directive 2003/59 requires all new entrants drivers obtaining an HGV licence cat C1 and C, who wish to drive professionally, must have obtained the Driver CPC initial qualification.
However, the number of Initial Driver CPC qualifications attained by new drivers in the year to September 2010 was just 3,075, and Pargeter points out there would have been roughly 50,000 people taking HGV tests in that 12-month period.
“Around 10,000-15,000 would be C+E tests and the initial Driver CPC is not relevant or required,” he says. “This still leaves 35,000-40,000 tests, so less than one 10th of new entrants between September 2009 and September 2010 took the initial driver CPC.”
“Even allowing for the fact that some drivers will be exempt from Initial Driver CPC [because they already have C1 or are exempt under Driver CPC rules] that still leaves a large number who need it but don’t have it. Going by these figures I would estimate that there must be 5,000 to 10,000 new HGV drivers who are working illegally”.
“A VOSA spokesman said that the agency’s approach was to focus on educating drivers and ensuring that the rules are understood.”As you would expect, very few encounters are with new entrants at this stage. The vast majority are with existing licence holders.”