Government relaxes rules on driver training
The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) qualification requires most professional lorry and bus drivers to complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years to maintain a driver qualification card (DQC).
During the coronavirus outbreak, it may be difficult for drivers to complete the required training and so the Department for Transport (DfT) has put in place temporary changes.
Drivers whose DQC expires in the period from 1 March 2020 to 30 September 2020 can continue driving, the DfT announced.
It also said it was considering options for drivers with the HGV or PCV entitlements who have never held a CPC and who want to start driving professionally. In addition, military drivers - who have different training - will be allowed to drive in civilian situations during that period.
Roads minister Baroness Vere has also written to the Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association.
She said: 'It is essential that the work of the logistics sector should continue to the greatest extent possible through the Covid-19 crisis.
'Haulage drivers, managers, warehouse staff and all other logistics professionals need to continue to go about their business to keep supply chains moving, and government policy is clear that this applies to all supply chains and not only those of food and medical supplies.'
She said that all travel related to this industry was considered 'essential travel' and had communicated this to police chiefs.
The news comes after the police were criticised for over-enforcement of the new restrictions on movement and interpreting the actual law incorrectly.
Drivers will not be subject to enforcement action by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in respect of the DCPC regulations.
If you are stopped by an enforcement officer they can check to see that you have previously recently held a CPC or are in the military (including reservists acting under instruction).
Drivers should carry their expired DQC if they have it. The drivers that this measure applies to will be required to comply with driver CPC rules from 1 October 2020.
Where this applies
These changes apply to Great Britain. Arrangements in Northern Ireland are devolved.
International road transport drivers should have a Driver CPC, unless the type of transport is exempt from the requirements.
The end date will be kept under review. The proposed schedule includes a substantial period to recover missed training, whose duration will need further assessment.
Road transport operators will need to check insurance validity, but should not expect any significant change in premiums.