TfL Direct Vision Standard

Transport for London (TfL) has recommenced the enforcement of both the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and Direct Vision Standard (DVS) from the moratorium they introduced in October 2020 due to the COVID issue.

 

TfL DVS Permit Application

For Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight, a permit is required for the vehicle to travel in the Greater London area. The HGV safety permit scheme operates 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. The vehicle owner will need to hold a valid HGV safety permit to travel in the zone, or face a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

Below is the link to the TfL website where you can apply.

DVS VRM Checker - Transport for London (tfl.gov.uk)

MOT Testing Resumes for Light Vehicles

The mandatory MOT testing for cars, vans and motorcycles for England, Scotland and Wales resumed on 1st August 2020. Vehicles with a MOT date before this date will still have a six-month exemption if this is required.

Temporary Implementation Delays by TfL

Transport for London (TfL) has temporarily delayed the enforcement of both the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and Direct Vision Standard (DVS), which were due to come into force from 26th October 2020. This is due to the Coronavirus [COVID-19] situation.

Currently, TfL are looking to delay these schemes until February 2021, which will give companies more time to adopt cleaner, safer vehicles.

So, although both scheme’s charging, operation and enforcement policies have been deferred until February, TfL has confirmed that they both still came into effect from 26th October 2020.

TfL says that the new date for the start of operations and enforcement will be kept under review.

Driving Licence Categories - C & U Compliant Vehicles

Clarification has been sought over the correct category on a DVLA-issued driving licence for vehicles that fall within the scope of the 'Construction and Use Regulations'. A number of specialist plant such as concrete pumps which are mounted on a rigid roadgoing vehicle chassis have been deeemed as 'engineering plant' and running under special types (goods) order which can be driven on a category B licence.

However, dialogue between with owners of these types and the Department for Transport officials (DfT) has revealed that the DoT have taken a different view in that if the vehicle is able to meet current construction and use regulations - including gross vehicle weights, then they are liable to plating and testing and that drivers need to hold category C on their driving licence if driven on the public highway. 

Technical Information Notice (TIN) 401 below provides further clarification to the issue. The CPA warn that the content is based on examination of relevant acts and regulations and with dialogue with relevant Associations but state that whilst untested in a Court of Law, the decision remains with the vehicle owner as to which driving licence category they specify for their drivers.

Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety (CLOCS) Champion

The CPA has become a Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety (CLOCS) Champion, and we are taking a leading role in helping to reduce collisions with vulnerable road users. For further information regarding the CLOCS scheme please visit https://www.clocs.org.uk/

Drug Driving Law Update

A report published by the Government, since the introduction of drug driving offences in England and Wales in 2015, has revealed a 98% conviction rate for these offences. The law made it illegal to drive above thresholds with certain drugs in the body, as below.

Illegal Drugs (Zero tolerance approach by the employer
including acidential exposure to the employee)

Threshold limit per litre in blood

Benzoylecgonine

Cocaine

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (Cannabis)

Ketamine

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)

Methylamphetamine

MDMA

6-monoacetylmorphine (Heroin)

50 micrograms

10 micrograms

2 micrograms

20 micrograms

1 microgram

10 micrograms

10 micrograms

5 micrograms

 
 
'Medicinal' Drugs (Risk based approach by the employer) Threshold limit per litre in blood

Amphetamine

Clonazepam

Diazepam

Flunitrazepam

lorazepam

Methadone

Morphine

Oxazepam

Temazempamm

250 micrograms

50 micrograms

550 micrograms

300 micrograms

100 micrograms

500 micrograms

80 micrograms

300 micrograms

1,000 micrograms

Police forces have also been issued with improved screening equipment. If caught, drivers can lose their licence for at least a year, be fined up to £5,000 or given a prison sentence. The report also shows that of the drivers who underwent preliminary drug screening, approximately 94% were male and 64% were aged between 16 and 29 years old.

HGV Periodic (Roadworthiness) Testing

The Department for Transport (DfT) has removed certain vehicles from the exemption from the annual MOT Test following a consultation process with operators and industry. This includes mobile or engineering plant, or specialised heavy vehicles constructed on or adapted from an HGV-based chassis and can encompass mobile concrete pumps, vacuum/suction excavators, truck mounted access platforms and mobile cranes mounted on a truck-based chassis.

Changes will be implemented through amendments to the Goods Vehicles (Plating and Testing) Regulations 1988. The legal changes took effect from the 20th May 2018 and from that date, these vehicle types may be subject to an annual MOT test.

Equipment such as mobile cranes on a bespoke chassis which come under the Special Types Goods Order (STGO) Regulations will remain exempt from the annual MOT test. The CPA has introduced a voluntary scheme to cover plant which are equipped with a bespoke chassis.

There is no specific exemption for suction/vacuum excavators and other such vehicles. However, it is possible that they meet the definition of plant/engineering plant which is defined as:

Engineering plant and plant, not being engineering plant, which is movable plant or equipment being a motor vehicle or trailer (not constructed primarily to carry a load) especially designed and constructed for the special purposes of engineering operations.

The intention of the DfT was the removal of the testing exemption for plant and engineering plant unless the vehicle is:

  • based on a bespoke (non-HGV) chassis; or
  • operating under the STGO.

These two caveats will apply consistently across all exemptions that are removed. Equipment that operates above normal weights authorised via the STGO criteria would continue to be exempt. Any that operate within standard limits and on a lorry chassis could be subject to testing.

The vehicles affected are:

  • Engineering plant and plant (not being engineering plant), which is movable plant or equipment being a motor vehicle (not constructed primarily to carry a load) especially designed and constructed for the special purposes of engineering operations
  • Tower wagons (truck-mounted access platforms)
  • Road construction vehicles (but not road rollers and other specialised equipment not based on an HGV chassis)
  • Electrically propelled motor vehicles registered since the 1st March 2015
  • Tractor units pulling exempt trailers
  • Motor tractors and heavy and light locomotives exempted under sections 185 and 186 (3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, where these are based on a HGV chassis.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has adopted a phased approach for vehicles coming into the scope of testing.  This approach will allow the phasing in of the new requirements beyond 20th May 2018 and up to 20th May 2019, for most of the vehicle types affected. However, all vehicles will require a Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate before their Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) renewal date in the course of that year at the latest. This approach will smooth out the annual profile of tests and give industry more flexibility to balance out the testing of their fleet over a longer period. 

Detail of approach to phasing in testing 

Eligibility 

The phased approach is only for motor vehicles that:

  1. are not in the list of excluded vehicle types below
  2. were first registered before 20th May 2017
  3. are currently (until 20th May 2018) exempt from statutory roadworthiness testing but from 20th May 2018 are subject to statutory roadworthiness testing (the change being effected by SI 2017 No.849) 

All other vehicles must have a valid Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate in line with the statutory requirements. For newly-in-scope vehicles, this applies from the 20th May 2018. 

The following vehicles types are excluded from the phased approach (all these vehicles must have a valid Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate from the 20th May 2018):

  • motor vehicles to be used in international traffic,
  • mobile concrete batching plant (also known as volumetric concrete mixers) (owing to other potential regulatory changes applicable to them),
  • newly-in-scope tractors (i.e. those with a design speed over 40km/h used for non-agricultural haulage beyond a radius of 15 miles from their operating base),
  • trailers, of all types.

Phased approach 

For this to apply to eligible vehicles, the following conditions must be met:

  1. a valid Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate must be held at the time of the vehicle’s first VED renewal date after 19 May 2018,
  2. for vehicles without a Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate after 19 May 2018, records of the date and outcomes of at least the most recent “safety inspection” (as opposed to general maintenance) must be available for inspection by enforcement authorities if required - the person undertaking the safety inspection must be technically competent and operationally aware of the safety standards that apply to the vehicles they examine,
  3. the safety inspection is required to be conducted in line with DVSA’s published guidance within the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness Manual,
  4. vehicles must be in a roadworthy condition at all times. 

Providing the above conditions are met, enforcement authorities will not take enforcement action for not having a valid Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate in place after 20th May 2018 and prior to the VED renewal date. Enforcement action may be taken if the vehicle is not in a roadworthy condition. 

Testing on the Scottish Islands

The directive means that all heavy vehicles and trailers on the Island of Bute will need to be tested for the first time, whether or not they are used on mainland Great Britain. All other heavy vehicles and trailers based on the Scottish Isles will only need to be tested if they’re used on mainland Great Britain. This includes: Arran, Great Cumbrae, Islay, Mull, Tiree and North Uist.

Fast tractors

Fast tractors designed and built to do more than 40 km/h (24 mph), will also need to be tested if they’re used for transporting a load that isn’t related to agriculture, horticulture or forestry operations, and is used more than 15 miles from their depot. They must be tested 4 years from the date of their first registration and then every 2 years thereafter. You can find more information in the recent DfT consultation for ‘Roadworthiness testing for fast tractors and other technical changes to vehicle testing’ at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/roadworthiness-testing-for-fast-tractors-and-other-technical-changes-to-vehicle-testing  

Defects found when testing

The directive will change how defects are categorised if any are found during the test. From the 20th May 2018, the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will define defects as either ‘Dangerous’, ‘Major’ or ‘Minor’. This will help operators to focus on what’s more important to road safety.

‘Dangerous’ and ‘Major’ defects

If the vehicle is found to have a ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’ defect, it will fail its annual test.

‘Minor’ defects

Defects identified as ‘minor’ will be viewed in the same way as ‘advisories’ currently are.

Emissions testing

As part of the directive, DVSA will be lowering limits for certain diesel engine vehicles, and testing instead to manufacturer values where appropriate. This means some changes will need to be made to diesel smoke meter software. [DVSA are working with the garage equipment manufacturers to make sure this update will be ready for customers by May 2018.]