RHA Messenger 12 July

12th July 2017

Driver gets 21-year ban over false records

A driver has been disqualified from professional driving for 21 years – until 2038 – after his driver card was used by another man to create false records.

Christopher Heydon, 49, had allowed his card to be used by Jason Tehrane, who did a duty stint of 85 hours without a qualifying rest period. Tehrane, 45, used the card to hide daily rest offending whilst working at Gilders Transport, Gretton and was banned for 18 months.


TM banned for three years

Shaun Gilder, transport manager at Gretton-based Gilders Transport, has been banned for three years. The firm has had its licence cut indefinitely by 20% and an expansion refused.

The TM had presided over a period during which drivers were falsifying records, said TC Kevin Rooney; and he “had not been straight” with the TC over a case of a driver using a third party’s card.

Rooney said he had been impressed by the evidence from Gordon Gilder and the commitment of potential future TMs Catherine Gilder and Samantha Shea.


Magnet costs haulier O-licence

Use of a magnet to falsify his drivers’ hours records has cost haulier Sebastian Blizniak his O-licence, with a two-year ban, and his driving licence for 12 months.

Blizniak admitted a single count of using the magnet to cover up running from Corley Services to Middlewich, just over 80 miles.

The action was the first taken by new North West traffic commissioner, Simon Evans, who stressed the seriousness of falsification.  He said the industry would be scandalised if the operator retain his repute in this case.


Overnight allowance doesn’t work says RHA

The RHA has published its response to HM Treasury’s consultation on employee expenses. It focusses on the current requirements for the bespoke overnight allowance.

We explain why it doesn’t work and ministers should re-think policy HERE.

A meeting last week sought to move forward but highlighted the difficulties involved on two issues. One is whether or not receipts or similar – such as photographs of a meal, an idea floated by HMRC last week – are necessary, as HMRC argues, or not, as the RHA argues based on tax expert advice. That is likely to go to the Tax Tribunal is not resolved.

The other issue is the absence of a definition to what level of spending, or similar, employers are supposed to check. HMRC appears to have moved from its position that it has to roughly equate to the allowance but is reluctant or unwilling at this stage to say where it has moved to.

Comments welcome at j.semple@rha.uk.net


Historical offences rules

We are anticipating the likely introduction of new historical offences regulation, which was consulted upon in 2014. The aim is to allow drivers’ hours and HGV road user levy in the preceding 28 days to come under the graduated fixed penalty and deposit scheme and is aimed primarily at strengthening enforcement powers with respect to foreign operators.

The RHA supports the move as a means of levelling the playing field between UK and foreign firms, having assurances with regard to enforcement policy. Our consultation response from 2014 is HERE.


Freight crime webinar

BSI and the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) Freight are hosting a webinar on UK Cargo Crime Threats and Trends. The webinar is on July 19th at 2pm HERE.

Members seeking information about the RHA Security Forum should email c.rampley@rha.uk.net


HGV driver tests rise by less

The number of lorry driving tests continues to rise but the rapid growth since 2014 slowed to just 3.3% in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, Department for Transport statistics show. There were 19,200 tests, with 58% pass rate, up 1.9 percentage points. Read more HERE.

Comments or queries on the new driver apprenticeships to c.snape@rha.uk.net.

RHA welcomes new DfT Transport Investment Strategy


DfT sees new path on roads

The DfT is looking to develop a new ‘major road network’ that will consist of the major roads that not on the Strategic Road Network, for which it is already responsible through Highways England. 

The plan, subject to consultation, is that a share of the annual National Road Fund, funded by Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), will be given to local authorities to improve or replace the most important A-roads under their management.

This potential investment in roads supporting the SRN is a major change of emphasis from the government and is welcomed by the RHA.

The Government document is written in “government speak”, but can be found here.


Taylor Review published

The RHA will be responding in due course to lengthy Taylor Review on modern working practices, published yesterday HERE.

Comments welcome to c.snape@rha.uk.net