DEADLINE: Drivers must complete training soon
Bus and coach drivers with ‘acquired rights’ are being warned that there is less than a month to finish their Driver CPC training.
By the deadline, September 10, professional bus and coach drivers must have completed 35hours of periodic training – or face a fine, potentially losing their livelihood.
Lorry drivers with ‘acquired rights’ now have less than 13months to finish their training.
When introduced in 2008 for bus and coach drivers, and 2009 for lorry drivers, the Driver CPC qualification ensured existing drivers were given ‘acquired rights’, taking previous experience into account.
By law, all professionals must refresh their training every five years.
Alastair Peoples, Chief Executive of the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), said: “We know that the majority of these drivers have completed, or are on track to complete, their first cycle of training in time.
“Periodic training keeps drivers’ skills up to date, helps save money through improved fuel efficiency and reduced accidents, and contributes to safer roads in Britain.
“VOSA officers already routinely check the Driver CPC status of professional drivers.
“After the deadlines they can also check whether ‘acquired rights’ drivers have completed their training or are driving illegally.
“Not being aware of Driver CPC is not an excuse for drivers or operators.”
The Office of the Traffic Commissioner has also repeated operators must be aware of their drivers’ training hours and deadlines to avoid penalties.
Joan Aitken, lead Traffic Commissioner on Driver CPC, said: “The bus and coach industry is now entering the most critical phase of this training, with only one month to go before the deadline expires.
“Drivers who have completed the required hours and worked hard to achieve the driver qualification card (DQC) can continue to provide vital services for the public after September 9, 2013.
“But those who have yet to finish the training – and drivers who have not recorded any hours – must make sure they are qualified by the deadline if they want to carry on working in the industry.
“Traffic commissioners have made it clear that drivers and operators will be brought to their attention when there are offences of driving without aDQC or failing to produce it.
“This could result in driver and O licence sanctions.
“Our message is simple: get qualified and don’t risk your livelihood.”
Image courtesy of Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious, with thanks.