If you have recently received a summons for an offence relating to driving an HGV or operating a haulage fleet and are looking for some legal help then we are here to listen and advise you — contact us now!
We are regularly instructed by HGV drivers and haulage fleets who have been prosecuted for a wide range of offences.
An offence which all commercial drivers will be wary of, and HGV drivers in particular, is overloading. If a vehicle is overloaded beyond the prescribed limit, penalties can apply both to the employer and to the driver himself. The fine is often fairly onerous and can be up to £5,000 per offence. We have been successful at representing companies in mitigating their penalty, and we have also been successful at avoiding prosecution altogether in some cases when, for example, there has been a technical error in the prosecution.
You may be charged with causing (or being likely to cause) danger by reason of load or passengers, carrying a maximum penalty of three driving licence points, a £5,000 fine and disqualification. You may also be charged with dangerous driving.
Drivers’ hours and tacograph offences
The regulations for HGV drivers from both the UK and the EU are complex. Compliance is usually monitored through the tacograph. Tampering with the tachograph, or failing to install one in most cases, is an offence, and there are myriad offences for breaching the technical regulations which the tachographs record. There are technical defences to some of the offences, which should be considered before making a decision as to how to plead or whether to accept a penalty.
Given the nature of the job, for many drivers of lorries and other HGVs, relatively minor driving offences tend to be quite common; not because HGV drivers are bad drivers, but simply because of the sheer number of miles driven each year. See our Speeding, careless driving and mobile phones pages for more details. Some penalties are higher for drivers of goods vehicles than for most other motorists.
HGV drivers may have a case for exceptional hardship if they are facing a ban for totting up.