DSA, VOSA and Traffic Commissioner Warn On Approaching Driver CPC Deadlines
‘Acquired rights’ drivers of coaches and buses have less than a month to make sure they have completed their training requirements or risk being fined and even losing their livelihood, DSA and VOSA warn.
The Office of the Traffic Commissioner has also reiterated the need for operators to be aware of their drivers’ training hours and deadlines to avoid penalties.
When the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) was introduced in 2008 and 2009 for those who drive buses, coaches or lorries for a living, new drivers entering the industry had to start taking the Driver CPC initial qualification. However existing drivers were awarded ‘acquired rights’ which took their previous experience into account.
To remain within the rules, all drivers must do 35 hours of periodic training every five years and the first deadline (10 September 2013) is less than a month away for drivers of buses and coaches with acquired rights. Lorry drivers with acquired rights now have less than 13 months to comply.
Alastair Peoples, DSA and VOSA Chief Executive, said:
“We know that the majority of these drivers have completed, or are on track to complete, their first cycle of training in time. Periodic training keeps drivers’ skills up to date, helps save money through improved fuel efficiency and reduced accidents, and contributes to safer roads in Britain.
“VOSA officers already routinely check the Driver CPC status of professional drivers. After the deadlines they can also check whether ‘acquired rights’ drivers have completed their training or are driving illegally. Not being aware of Driver CPC is not an excuse for drivers or operators.”
Joan Aitken, lead Traffic Commissioner on Driver CPC, said:
“The bus and coach industry is now entering the most critical phase of this training, with only one month to go before the deadline expires. Drivers who have completed the required hours and worked hard to achieve the DQC can continue to provide vital services for the public after 09 September.
“But those who have yet to finish the training – and drivers who have not recorded any hours – must make sure they are qualified by the deadline if they want to carry on working in the industry.
“Traffic commissioners have made it clear that drivers and operators will be brought to their attention when there are offences of driving without a DQC or failing to produce it. This could result in driver and O licence sanctions.
“Our message is simple: get qualified and don’t risk your livelihood.”