Traffic Commissioners are responsible for issuing Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) and Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licences, regulating HGV or PSV operators and drivers. There are 8 Traffic Commissioners in the UK covering the following areas:
• London and the South East of England
• North East of England
• North West of England
• West Midlands and Wales
• East of England
• West of England
The Traffic Commissioners have the power to suspend or restrict a driver’s or operator’s HGV or PSV licence and can call a public inquiry in a court.
Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiries
A HGV or PSV driver or operator may be called to attend a Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry for a number of reasons:
• There has been an objection to your licence
• There has been an infringement on the conditions of your licence
• There are environmental concerns about the HGV or PSV operating centre
• You have committed a road traffic offence
A HGV or PSV operator may also request a public inquiry, however the Traffic Commissioner does not have to hold one. A driver or operator may also appeal a decision.
If you or one of your drivers are called to a Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry you should use a solicitor to protect your business or livelihood. Our team of specialist HGV and PSV solicitors can provide expert advice and guidance for court appearances.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), formerly known as the Vehicle and Operator Standards Agency (VOSA) are responsible for inspecting vehicles and along with the Police provide information regarding driver conduct, vehicle condition and operators to the Traffic Commissioners. DVSA officials have the power to stop and conduct investigations on vehicles and can issue different penalties depending on the issue.
A prohibition notice limits how the vehicle can be driven. There are immediate prohibition notices which immobilise the vehicle with immediate effect and delayed prohibition notices which allow up to 10 days for an issue to be addressed. The DVSA may also issue a Vehicle Inspection Notice which does not prohibit the vehicle from being used but advises on minor issues which need addressing. Common prohibition notices for HGV and PSV vehicles are:
• Overload Prohibition Notices
• Roadworthiness Prohibition Notices (PG9)
• S Roadworthiness Prohibition Notices (for severe defects)
HGV & PSV Fixed Penalty Notices
The DVSA can also issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for a number of offences under the Road Traffic Act 1991, Transports Act 1968 and Working Time Regulations 1998. Common FPNs for HGV and PSV drivers are for overloading offences and driver hours offences. The minimum fine for a FPN is £100 per violation and some offences carry driving licence endorsements. A driver or vehicle operator issued with a FPN has 28 days in which to pay the fine or appeal it in court. The DVSA will pass information to the Traffic Commissioner and vehicle operators must also inform the Traffic Commissioner of any notices received by their drivers.
It is important to your business and livelihood that you seek legal advice and guidance for matters involving the Traffic Commissioner or to appeal a FPN. Hammond Trotter solicitors work mostly in motoring law and are specialist HGV and PSV solicitors who can secure the best results for our clients.