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Transport: Drivers' Hours

Volume 694: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 10 October 2006 (WA 133) and Lord Bassam of Brighton on 26 January (WA 269), what progress is being made with the authorities in the Republic of Ireland regarding breaches of drivers’ hours regulations whilst driving in Wales. [HL4808]

We are continuing to report offences to the Road Safety Authority in Ireland, which has advised us that it is now also taking follow-up enforcement action where appropriate.

In GB, the Department for Transport’s Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) continues to undertake a significant and sustained level of enforcement activity in order to help to deter and detect drivers’ hours offences. VOSA is now checking compliance on some 2,800 non-GB vehicles annually as they travel across Wales.

The general situation seems to be showing some sign of improvement. A random compliance survey in 2004 showed that 48 per cent of drivers of commercial vehicles registered in Ireland were committing serious road traffic offences in GB—for the most part, a contravention of drivers’ hours rules. A similar survey in 2006 showed that the average level of offending, while still high, had dropped to just under 37 per cent.

In addition to roadside enforcement, we are progressing plans to introduce on-the-spot fines for such offences; we are consulting on our proposals. This will act as an additional deterrent.