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All Aboard!, Issue #007 -- Changes to driving licences in January
November 01, 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. Changes to driving licences in January 2013

DVLA and DSA announced the changes that will take effect on 19 January 2013 to comply with the EU's third Directive, which aims to

  • Introduce administrative validity dates for driving licences;
  • Introduce new minimum ages for certain categories (for PCV drivers, a lowering from the age of 21 to 20 for driving without restrictions on commercial services);
  • Ensure that PCV and LGV drivers meet a minimum standard of physical and mental fitness (a separate D4 will have to be signed by a qualified optometrist); and
  • Amend and strengthen the progressive access to two-wheeled vehicle categories.

The Directive will also introduce a single driving licence model across Europe which will in turn

  • Reduce the possibilities of fraud;
  • Guarantee a true freedom of movement for EU drivers;
  • Reinforce safety on European roads.

A revised driving licence card is already being issued, but there will be further changes once the current stock of 70 million (!) cards runs out.

The most notable change - apart from the date format - will be the introduction of a table containing all European categories on the reverse side.

DSA also stressed that CPC periodic training is not valid and cannot be uploaded to the DSA database if it takes place more than 5 years before the expiry date of the Driver's Qualification Card.

For the majority of drivers this poses no problems. For those who obtained entitlements in both PCV and LGV categories at different times however, the dual expiry dates could be a potential minefield!

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2. Breathalyser saga continues

In issue #004 of All Aboard we reported on the difficulties breathalyser manufacturers are having to keep up with demand for NF approved kits.

Due tot the shortage in supply, the French government has now pushed back the enforcement date of the €11 fine for non-compliance from 1 November 2012 to 1 March 2013.

The delay in enforcement will also be used to "evaluate the usefulness of the law" since it has been widely criticised by many road safety campaigners for not actually stopping people from drunk driving.

To be continued in March...

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1. Beware of White-Van-Man?

Statistics show that van drivers pick up twice as many convictions as car drivers.

Research from AA Insurance has revealed that on average 15.5% of van drivers carry endorsements on their licences compared to only 7.4% of car drivers.

The regional breakdown shows a pretty uniform pattern across the country, with the South East and Scotland having the highest conviction ratio for van drivers and the North West and East Midlands the highest ratio for car drivers.

The biggest offense? Van drivers are 6 times more likely to have been caught with a hand-held mobile phone, resulting in a £60 fine and 3 points on the licence, which stay there for 4 years and result in a higher insurance premium.

Insurers consider the mobile phone use a worse offence than speeding and even though both carry the same penalty, a 18.5% rise in premium for mobile phone offences compared to a 9.3% rise for a single speeding offence illustrates the wider impact.

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2. Dealing with roundabouts

When reaching the roundabout you should:

  • give priority to traffic approaching from your right, unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights
  • check whether road markings allow you to enter the roundabout without giving way. If so, proceed, but still look to the right before joining
  • watch out for all other road users already on the roundabout; be aware they may not be signalling correctly or at all
  • look forward before moving off to make sure traffic in front has moved off

Source: The Official Highway Code

Remember to indicate at the right moment to alert other road users to your intentions.

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Driver CPC Courses

Less than 45 weeks to go before the deadline!

Still need to get started on the 35 hours but can't take a whole week off to get it done?

Join our monthly scheduled sessions over the winter and have your Driver CPC completed before the next season starts.

Wednesday 14 November 2012:
Road Risk - Drug & Alcohol Awareness: safety issues on the road, effects of fatigue, drugs and alcohol use.

Tuesday 11 December 2012:
Eco-Driving: reduce fuel costs, maintenance costs and accident risk.

Tuesday 15 January 2013:
Driver's Hours & Tachograph Use (analog & digital): the rules on driving hours, Working Time Directive and the correct use of recording equipment.

Tuesday 12 March 2013:
Drive Safe, Stay Legal: understanding your legal obligations, defect procedures, emergency procedures.

Tuesday 9 April 2013:
Customer Service: communication and conflict management, working relationships and practical solutions to deal with customers.

Pre-book your seat for the entire series and receive a discount.

Bespoke training for company bookings on-site or at a location of your choice.

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

That's it for now!

Drive safely,

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