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RHA and URTU reach agreement on prison sentences for drivers’ hours breaches

  • 17 August 2012
  • By Chris Tindall

The Road Haulage Association has modified its stance over mandatory prison sentences for drivers flouting drivers hours laws after a union stepped into the debate and opposed the idea.

The trade association had called on the government to take tougher action against drivers falsifying their driving records because “ineffective enforcement” is increasing the temptation for them to break the law.

But the United Road Transport Union says drivers are increasingly being “bullied and harassed by unscrupulous employers into exceeding their hours in order to complete a journey on their employers behalf.”

An URTU spokesman says: “They are often faced with a threat of losing their job for not completing a delivery within an unworkable time scale. Courts should therefore always examine the reason why drivers records were allegedly falsified, before deciding on a level of punishment, rather than simply implementing mandatory custodial sentencing.”

RHA managing director Geoff Dunning says he accepts the Union’s argument and adds: “If someone is forcing a driver to behave in that way then they should be subject to the same sanctions. Clearly, if a driver is subject to that pressure, that person should be subjected to the same sanctions.”

Dunning says: “What we are concerned about is that there seem to be a growing number of examples of this sort of thing happening and we really need to make sure it’s dealt with firmly.”


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