Are you liable for driver hour offences

Being on the road poses many dangers. This is especially so for lorry and truck drivers due to the sheer weight and size of the vehicle, not to mention the commonly cited ‘blind spot’ they have at the back of the vehicle, on the right-hand side directly opposite the door and several other locations around the vehicle. As an experienced lorry or truck driver, you may believe that you are up-to-date with all of your road safety knowledge however, sadly accidents do occur and when they do, its about looking at the facts and how to prevent the same type of accident from happening again. One of the main reasons that accidents occur is because of fatigue. This may be down to an excessive amount of many hours spent behind the wheel or personal driver lifestyle. Now, whilst the latter is something that drivers must address themselves, as a fleet owner, it is important to monitor how many hours your drivers are behind the wheel for. Not only does this help to protect your drivers and other motorists, it also helps to defend your assets if your drivers are caught doing over-time. It may shock you to find that, according to The Lorry Lawyer, you as a fleet owner can be held liable should any of your drivers be caught by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) breaching the drivers hours’ regulations. However, if you can demonstrate that you have ticked the appropriate boxes that fall in-line with these set regulations, you may not be held responsible for the offence that they have committed. Before we go into what these conditions are, lets take a look at just one of the ways that you can effectively keep track of your driver’s progress on the road. 

Fleet Tracking 

 Fleet tracking is a great way for fleet owners to monitor their driver’s progress on the road. Not only does it report back with information regarding drivers’ average speed and destination, it can also keep track of their time spent on the road as well as the number and length of breaks, both authorised and unsanctioned. This can help you to keep a record of honest drivers as well as set up a meeting with those who you suspect are working outside of the driver’s regulations. In addition to this, fleet tracking is an inexpensive yet long-term solution. This means that it is ideal for small fleet owners on a budget and can offer the same amount of security and peace of mind to small-scale fleets as it can to larger organisations. 

The Conditions 

Moving on, the conditions that fleet owners must abide to, that may defend their case if they are suspected to be liable for drivers working overtime unauthorised, are as follows:
  • The schedules that drivers are given must be achievable within the hours allowance set by the regulations
  • Adequate training must be provided to new and existing drivers regarding the time allowance
  • Fleet owners must carry out regular inspections and checks to make sure that all drivers are adhering to the regulations. This means frequently checking the systems they have in place and checking “all aspects of drivers’ hours’ compliance”
  • Additional wages (or bonuses) cannot be provided if they are based on the distance a driver has travelled, especially if this encourages drivers to breach regulations.
These are a few of the conditions that fleet owners must adhere to in order to protect their assets, fleet and company as a whole.