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All Aboard!, Issue #004 -- French Breathalyzers and Parking Appeals
September 19, 2012

All Aboard! - eNews

The latest on everything in the passenger transport industry: changes in legislation, tips for road safety, CPC training dates,...

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1. Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé: French breathalyzers

Their arrival has been widely discussed and debated since the beginning of the year, but now the enforcement date for actually having them is getting near: breathalyzers.

While the new requirement officially took effect on 1 July, enforcement will start on the 1st of November. Anyone driving a vehicle that is not carrying the NF approved breathalyzer kit will be issued a €11 fine.

The law seems pretty straight-forward. All motorised vehicles – regardless of their country of origin – need to carry a breathalyzer kit that is

  • Unused
  • Readily accessible (not in your bag at the bottom of the pile in the boot)
  • Not past its use-by date (disposable kits have a 2 year shelve life)
  • NF approved

Vehicles fitted with alcohol sensing immobilizers are exempt from carrying the kits, provided that the installed system complies with French standards.

Where things are still a bit murky for many coach drivers is the level of alcohol intoxication the kit should detect.

Unlike the UK, where there is no difference between the legal limit for car drivers and professional drivers, France has a 0.5 g/dl legal limit for car drivers but a zero limit for coach, bus and lorry drivers. That could potentially land a coach driver a fine, even if he is carrying a kit calibrated to 0.5 g/dl.

NF approved kits with the lower limit are not so easy to find and the 0.2 g/dl kits used by the railway industry may come closest. However, with only 2 approved manufacturers and demand for 0.5 g/dl kits currently in overdrive to meet the November deadline, finding the lower limit kits with NF approval proves near impossible.

Another topic that is still creating confusion is the recommendation to carry 2 kits. This is not mandatory and only a suggestion so you have a spare kit should you use one to test yourself.

As a coach driver with a zero limit there never is a need to test yourself though: if you had any alcohol at all, you are over the limit!

If you get stopped by the police, they will use their own equipment, so again no need to use your kit.

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2. Parking appeals scheme to start

London Councils and the British Parking Association (BPA) will launch an independent appeals service for people incurring parking charges on private land.

The launch of the Parking on Private Land Appeals scheme (POPLA) will coincide with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, which bans clamping and removal of vehicles parked on private land from 1 October 2012 onwards and covers England and Wales. Apart from plots of land owned by private persons or companies, multi-storey car parks and council housing estates are also considered to be private land.

Under the new law barriers at the entrance or exit of car parks will be the only allowable parking enforcement along with the issue of charges to those who violated the rules governing the use of the private land.

Organisations managing the parking on private land will be allowed to enforce parking charges against the registered keeper of the vehicle, not just the driver, but local authorities can still only enforce against the driver.

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1. Check your Driver CPC Periodic Training record online

You can check online with the DSA how many hours of Driver CPC Periodic Training you have completed so far.

Before getting access to your training records, you will need to register and apply for a password to gain access. You’ll need your driving licence number and postcode for the registration. The password will be sent by regular mail to the address listed on your driving licence.

Once you have the password, you can

  • see how many hours of training you have completed
  • see which courses you have attended
  • create a temporary password for your employer or potential employer to view your training record
To register, follow this link to Do It Online - Motoring

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2. Safety Infringement Notices in coach park at Stansted

To improve the health and safety for bus and coach passengers and staff working in the coach station area, Stansted Airport is introducing Safety Infringement Notices for drivers and staff who do not abide by the following coach station operating rules and procedures:

  • All staff entering into manoeuvring area must be wearing a hi-vis waistcoat or jacket.
  • Speed Limit – 5mph.
  • All vehicles must give priority to reversing vehicles at all times.
  • No vehicles must be left unattended with engines running.
  • All vehicles are to follow the one way system.
  • Staff wishing to access the layover area are to cross adjacent to the coach station exit barrier.
  • No vehicles are to reverse onto bays.
  • Coach and Bus Drivers are responsible for the safety of their passengers at all times when boarding and lighting their vehicle.
  • No passengers must be allowed to walk behind vehicles at any time.
  • All users of the coach station must adhere to instructions from the Coach Station Management Team at all times.
  • All drivers must close the bay gate before reversing off the bay.
  • All vehicles can only pick up/drop off and park in the designated areas.
  • Staff and Drivers can only smoke in designated smoking areas.

These notices will be issued by the Coach Station Management Team as from Monday 17th September 2012.

Anyone receiving 3 notices within 12 months will have their "suitability" to continue working in the coach station area reviewed.

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Driver CPC Courses

Our Driver CPC training courses are designed to suit the needs of your organisation. No "one-size-fits-all", but courses tailored specifically to the passenger transport industry.

We offer the following approved courses:

  • Driver's Hours & Tachograph Use (analog & digital): the rules on driving hours, Working Time Directive and the correct use of recording equipment.
    Tue 16/10/12 - Tue 20/11/12
  • Drive Safe, Stay Legal: understanding your legal obligations, defect procedures, emergency procedures.
    Wed 17/10/12 - Wed 21/11/12
  • Road Risk - Drug & Alcohol Awareness: safety issues on the road, effects of fatigue, drugs and alcohol use.
    Thu 27/9/12 Spaces still available - Mon 15/10/12 - Mon 19/11/12
  • Eco-Driving (on the road): driving techniques to encourage fuel-efficient driving (max. 2 drivers).
    Dates on request

Available from November 2012:

  • Customer Service: communication and conflict management, working relationships and practical solutions to deal with customers.
  • Eco-Driving (classroom based): reduce fuel costs, maintenance costs and accident risk.

Bespoke training for company bookings.

We deliver training on-site or at a location of your choice.

Special rates available for group or multiple course bookings. Beat the rush and book now! The deadline is approaching fast.

For enquiries and bookings: or click here for an enquiry form.

That's it for now!

Drive safely,

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