No ‘U Turn’ was the loud and clear message from Northern Ireland Transport Regulator Donna Knowles, at the Road Haulage Association’s one-day conference in the Templeton Hotel, Templepatrick on Wednesday 18h June hosted by Ashley McCulla, Chairman for the RHA in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Donna Knowles spoke at length about the current legislation on Operator Licensing, what should be done to support and encourage operators to become and remain compliant; the intention to bring as many operators as possible within the licensing regime – from own account operators with one vehicle to larger fleets operators.
She also pledged the support of the Transport Regulator’s office to advise and help anyone who wants to be licensed on how to do so. “When mistakes are made we understand and advise accordingly”, Ms Knowles commented.
As far as intentional non-compliance was concerned, this was a matter of “No tolerance”.
Since July 2012, the Transport Regulators office has engaged in approximately 90 Public Inquiries on applications or compliance issues with either revocations and various other sanctions being applied
Delegates at the Conference were also pleased to welcome Jeremy Logan, Head of Compliance and Roadside Enforcement DVA. Jeremy highlighted the work of the DVA, focussing on operators responsibilities. Operator compliance had improved but in 2013-14 the roadworthiness defects analysis still showed that further improvements could be made:
Of the 640 vehicles checked by the DVA in the last 12 months:
557 vehicles had no roadworthiness defects (87%)
50 vehicles had one roadworthiness defect (7.8%)
33 vehicles had two or more roadworthiness defects (5.2%)
The most common defects reported were:
Lights/ signals (27.1%)
Other mechanical defects (12.4%)
Mr Logan went on to detail the DVA Business Plan for 2014-15. Compliance monitoring was high on the agenda with at least 250 HGV Operators due to have a compliance inspection. Also on The DVA agenda is the Develop and implement an Operator Compliance Risk Scoring (OCRS) System designed to help DVA Enforcement Officers identify high risk vehicle operators.