New Licensing Arrangements will improve roadworthiness of goods vehicles and improve road safety – A
AJT Transport Consultancy Ltd
transport, vehicle, Northern Ireland
In the past only ‘Hire or Reward’ operators were required to hold an operators licence, now ‘Own Account’ operators i.e. those who carry their own goods in the course of a trade or business will be required to hold an operators licence, as is the case in GB.
The changes are introduced by the Department of the Environment Transport Regulation Unit (TRU), which takes over the role of freight operator licensing, up to now carried out by the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA).
Welcoming the implementation of the new Goods Vehicle Act and full operator licensing in Northern Ireland, Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: “The main aim of the Goods Vehicle Act is to improve the standards of roadworthiness of goods vehicles in Northern Ireland. Operators need to ensure their vehicle is kept in a fit and serviceable condition.”
When applying for an operators licence in future, all applicants will be required to sign up to a list of undertakings. These include keeping the vehicle in a road worthy state and adhering to rules on drivers’ hours/ tachographs. Operators will be required to examine how compliant their organisation is with the new legislative requirements and to ensure they take the necessary measures to comply.
The Minister added: “As Road Safety Minister a key objective for me is making our roads as safe as possible for everybody.
“The action taken by TRU if an operator fails to honour the undertakings or is guilty of road transport and traffic offences are a necessary response to ensure our roads are safer.
“Such action could entail curtailment, suspension or revocation of an operators licence and even, in extreme cases, disqualification from holding a licence. Goods vehicle drivers, driving longer than the permitted hours for example, will through natural tiredness, pose a danger to other road users.”
New enforcement powers given to DVA will enable them to impound goods vehicles being used without an Operators Licence. Operators should therefore, ensure they become familiar with the new legislation in order to avoid enforcement action.
, Northern Ireland
, working time directive