SINCE 5 March 2018, DVSA has been handing out fines for drivers’ hours offences committed within the previous 28 days and to mark the first anniversary Transport News asks what effect it’s had.

DVSA enforcement staff are now able to issue fines as much as £300 each for up to five drivers’ hours offences committed. That could mean a total fine of as much as £1,500 in one stop for particularly bad offenders.

Before, DVSA examiners could only issue roadside fines for ongoing drivers’ hours offences that were still happening at the time of the check. If they saw any offences before that, they needed to take the driver to court to fine them.

It was more difficult and expensive to get a non-UK driver along to these court hearings than a British driver, which posed a real problem.

To help solve this problem, DVSA powers were changed to allow tougher action against all dangerous drivers exceeding their hours.

Unsurprisingly, being able to cast a wider net meant we caught more offences,’ reveals Mark Horton of the DVSA.

‘In the year before we brought in these changes, we performed 80,418 roadside enforcement encounters involving a drivers’ hours check and issued 4,236 fixed penalties for drivers’ hours offences totalling £478,400.

‘But in the first year since we brought the changes in we’ve performed 73,147 roadside enforcement encounters involving a drivers’ hours check and issued 19,723 fixed penalties for drivers’ hours offences totalling £3,653,450.

‘Those are massive increases. The number of fixed penalties we’ve issued has increased by 465%, and the amount of fines has gone up by 763%.

‘To be clear, this isn’t about raising cash. All money received from fixed penalties goes to the Treasury. We want to make sure it doesn’t pay to break drivers’ hours rules. Being able to issue more fines for more offences sends a clear message… Take your breaks!’ insisted Mark Horton.