News

Changes for lorry and bus drivers

DSA has published a response to the consultation about changes to rules for motorcycles, lorries and buses used for driving tests.

The main changes affecting lorry, bus and coach drivers will be:

removing the need for 8-forward gear ratios for large test vehicles (category C)
allowing people who take a lorry or bus test (category C and D) in an automatic vehicle to get manual entitlement for those vehicles, if they already have a manual entitlement for cars, lorries or buses, with or without trailers (category B, B+E, C, C+E, C1, C1+E, D, D+E, D1+E)

Existing drivers

You can also get this manual entitlement when you exchange or upgrade your licence if you’re already a lorry, bus or coach driver and have a manual licence in any of those categories.

These changes will start in January 2014. 

Motorcycle test vehicle rules

DSA has published a response to the consultation about changes to rules for motorcycles, lorries and buses used for driving tests.

From January 2014 the following change will be introduced for motorcycles that can be used for tests to allow more flexibility.

DSA will reduce the minimum engine power requirement for medium motorcycles (category A2) from 25kW to 20kW.

There will be more changes from 2019. DSA will:

raise the minimum engine power requirement for large motorcycles (category A) from 40kW to 50kW
introduce a minimum mass weight requirement for large motorcycles (category A) of 180kg

 

End to foreign language driving tests

Driving test candidates will no longer be able to use foreign language voiceovers and interpreters on their test from 7 April 2014.

The move, announced today (10 October 2013) by the new Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill, follows a public consultation.

Currently people can:

take their car and motorcycle theory tests with a voiceover in 1 of 19 foreign languages
use interpreters on theory tests and practical tests

This will stop from 7 April 2014.

 

Driver CPC milestone for bus and coach drivers

Today (Tuesday 10 September 2013) is the deadline for many bus and coach drivers to have completed their first block of periodic training.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) officers will also be able to check whether ‘acquired rights’ bus and coach drivers have completed their training and have a driver qualification card (DQC) or are driving illegally.

When Driver CPC was introduced

The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) was introduced in 2008 for bus and coach drivers and in 2009 for lorry drivers.

New drivers who drive for a living had to start taking the Driver CPC initial qualification then.

Existing drivers were given ‘acquired rights’ which took their previous experience into account. This meant they didn’t have to take the initial qualification but had 5 years in which to complete their first block of 35 hours periodic training.

Deadline for lorry drivers

Lorry drivers with acquired rights have until 10 September 2014 to finish their periodic training or risk being fined and losing their livelihood.

 

Driver CPC: your feedback is needed

DSA seeks your views on Driver CPC periodic training ahead of an assessment by the European Union (EU).

This follows the recent launch of a public consultation about Driver CPC by the European Commission which looks at:

the case for standardising Driver CPC across the EU
using Driver CPC to regulate young people’s access to driving large vehicles
which drivers should be covered by Driver CPC in the future
the effectiveness of the structure and content of training
whether periodic training sufficiently considers vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists

Have your say by replying to DSA’s online survey by 16 October 2013

 

New penalties for careless driving come into force

Changes giving the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless or inconsiderate driving have come into effect.

From today (16 August 2013) careless drivers who put other road users at risk by committing offences such as tailgating or poor lane discipline will face on-the-spot penalties.

The changes give the police greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences, freeing them from resource-intensive court processes.

Existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences – including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt – rise to £100, bringing them into line with penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties.

 

Better enforcement and education to cut road deaths

Plans to improve road safety education while taking tough action against the small minority of dangerous drivers were set out by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond today.

Careless driving will be made

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Business plan 2011-12

The business plan for 2011-12 is now available on the DSA website.

This plan sets out the measures, outcomes, and key programmes that the Driving Standards Agency aims to deliver during 2011-12. We want to show how our work will continue to improve road safety both for drivers and riders, and fit into the Department for Transport’s vision of our roads becoming safer, less congested and less polluted.

Click here to view the business plan

 

Gatso’s are back!

Idle safety cameras will be switched on again across the country after police secured the right to use ‘speeders money’ to fund the cameras. Oxford will go live again in April. The funding will come from those who attend speed awareness courses, in Oxford, bucks and Berks the fees for the course have risen from £78 to £95 and about £35 of that will go to the Police to fund the cameras.

 

DVLA scam email warning

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              • DSA Christmas Opening Hour

          s
          Online services available as normal
          DSA’s online services will be available throughout Christmas and the New Year at direct.gov.uk/drivingtest. You can book, check, change or cancel your:

          * theory test, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
          * practical test, between 6.00 am and midnight, seven days a week

          Thursday 23 December 2010

          * DSA is operating as usual
          * DSA’s customer service centre will be open between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm

          Friday 24 December 2010

          * DSA’s driving test centres in England and Wales will be closed – test centres in Scotland will be open
          * DSA’s customer service centre will be closed
          * online services will be available
          * automated telephone lines for general information such as fees, and interactive voice recognition to change an existing practical test will be available from 6.00 am to midnight

          Monday 27 December 2010

          * Monday 27 December is a public holiday, so DSA’s test centres and customer service centre will be closed
          * online services will be available
          * automated telephone lines for general information such as fees, and interactive voice recognition to change an existing practical test will be available from 6.00 am to midnight

          Tuesday 28 December 2010

          * Tuesday 28 December is a public holiday, so DSA’s test centres and customer service centre will be closed
          * online services will be available
          * automated telephone lines for general information such as fees, and interactive voice recognition to change an existing practical test will be available from 6.00 am to midnight

          Wednesday 29 December 2010

          * DSA is operating as usual
          * DSA’s customer service centre will be open between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm

          Thursday 30 December 2010

          * DSA is operating as usual
          * DSA’s customer service centre will be open between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm

          Friday 31 December 2010

          * DSA is operating as usual
          * DSA’s customer service centre will be open from 8.00 am

          Monday 3 January 2011

          * Monday 3 January is a public holiday, so DSA’s test centres and customer service centre will be closed
          * online services will be available
          * automated telephone lines for general information such as fees, and interactive voice recognition to change an existing practical test will be available from 6.00 am to midnight

          Tuesday 4 January 2011

          * DSA’s driving test centres in England and Wales will be open – test centres in Scotland will be closed
          * DSA’s customer service centre will be open.

          Changing or cancelling a driving test without losing your fee
          The quickest and easiest way to change or cancel a theory or practical driving test is online at direct.gov.uk/drivingtest.
          The last date to change or cancel a test online booked for 4 January 2011 without losing your fee is 24 December.
          If you change or cancel a test booked for 4 January by phone, you need to do it on or before 23 December, as DSA’s customer service centre is closed on 24 December. source Govdelivery

          The reply from the DSA on L plates.

          I had a long chat with the sector manager for the Banbury area today and he told me the story………..

          Last week a learner in a private car attended for test, during the test they were pulled over by the police and the driver was warned about the position of the L plate. He was not charged however, the police man said that he had been driving towards the learner and could not see the L plate because it was stuck (magnetic) on the flat part of the bonnet. The police man also said he was lucky he was not going to charge him but he would be looking out for others.

          The rules are that the L plate like the numberplate should be fully visible to on-coming traffic, tied to the grille with string or fixed so that it can be clearly seen. (rear needs to be visible to approaching traffic too).

          Roof boxes are acceptable.

          Banbury Test Centre assure me that 99.9% of Instructors cars meet the criteria and even those from national companies who are no longer using top boxes can clearly be seen especially with the livery as well. They are offering privateers who arrive with the L plate half way up the bonnet, string, masking tape or similar to secure the L plate in a visible place and warning them that this may mark the vehicle. The choice is theirs, either risk marking the paintwork or no test.

          Thanks to the DSA for getting back to me so quickly.

          Here is the Directgov website take on L plates  29/10/2010   No answer as yet from the DSA.

          It is important to learn safe driving practice from the beginning of your driving career because bad habits are hard to break.

          It is unlikely that anyone except an approved driving instructor (ADI) has the experience, knowledge and training to teach you properly. Learning safe driving habits from the start will improve the safety of yourself and other road users.

          If you want to practise your driving with an accompanying driver, the accompanying driver must be over the age of 21 and must have held (and still hold) a full licence, in the relevant vehicle category, for three years.

          As a learner driver you must display ‘L’ plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) in a conspicuous position on the front and rear of the vehicle you are driving.

          ‘L’ Plates used on test………..27/10/2010

          I have just had a call from ans ADI in the Banbuy area who has told me that as of tomorrow 28th October 2010 all candidates on test will have to have ‘L’ plates which are vertical or a top box style. I quote from their local association ‘a driver was stopped on test by the police and they said the ‘L’ plates were incorrect as they were just stuck to the bonnet and therefore not the correct dimensions’  By which I assume they mean they cannot be fully seen thus giving the appearance of being smaller due to the angle of vision.

          This is hear-say at the moment, I will find out tomorrow from the DSA and update.

          Independent Driving, a week on.        13/10/10

          Local Driving Schools are reporting no reduction in the number of passes they have had since the new style test was introduced on the 4th October 2010. A spokes person for a local driving school stated that the percentage of passes has not changed, although it is early days they do not foresee any problems arising from the new test. This would back up the DSA who have always said that Independent Driving would not cause more clients to fail.

          The new style driving test is starting soon, are you ready for it or more to the point are your customers?

          Independent Driving is being introduced for all driving tests  from the 4th October 2010. What does this mean for you the learner driver? Well, you will only need to perform one manoeuvre instead of two and one in three candidates will have to perform the emergency stop.

          At some point the examiner will ask you to stop and……………….

          These will be chosen on a rotation basis so you won’t know which one you will get.

          Tests will be temporarily halted if a route error is made. Examiners will help the candidate to get back to route (without resulting in failure).

          DSA will not be publishing test routes any more.

          Why not watch the official DSA video on the link below.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQRl3zkkOgg

          DIDU is holding its Annual General Meeting on Sunday the 7th of November 2010. It is with great pleasure that they can announce their pre-AGM guest speaker will be Trevor Wedge (DSA Chief Driving Examiner) who will be addressing ADI’s concerns about current issues (10am-12pm)                                            All Instructors are invited to attend.

          See their website for details (click on links for their site)

          [/private]

      DfT Electric car revolution revs up for 2011

      The government drove the UK firmly into the fast lane of the electric and ultra-low emission car revolution today as Ministers unveiled nine trailblazing models that will be eligible for generous grants of up to £5,000.
      Transport Secretary Philip Hammond and Business Minister Mark Prisk announced the milestone which could make 2011 the year of the electric car for the UK – and revealed five more regions that will be installing local charging points having successfully bid for a share of a £20m fund.
      From January, the motoring map of the country will start to be redrawn as government and car industry work in partnership to give drivers a wide choice of clean, green transport.
      The first nine cars to become eligible for eco-friendly car grants are: Mitsubishi iMiEV; smart fortwo electric drive; Peugeot iON; Citroen CZero; Nissan Leaf; Tata Vista EV; Toyota Prius Plug-in; Vauxhall Ampera and Chevrolet Volt. More will follow next year.
      The grant will be available to motorists across the UK from 1 January 2011, reducing the cost of eligible cars by a quarter, up to a maximum of £5,000.
      The government is also encouraging a new network of electric vehicle recharging points in streets, car parks and commercial retail and leisure facilities as driving electric cars becomes a part of everyday life for pioneering British drivers. The successful bidding consortia in this second phase are based in: the Midlands; Greater Manchester; East of England; Scotland and Northern Ireland.
      Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said:
      “A few years ago, ultra-low emission cars with mass market appeal appeared just a pipe dream. Now they are a reality and we can have all the convenience of the car without all the carbon that normally goes with it.
      “Government action to support affordable vehicles and more local charging points means we are on the threshold of an exciting green revolution – 2011 could be remembered as the year the electric car took off.
      “The British public has in the past shown it’s ready to embrace new technology and take practical steps to adopt a lifestyle kinder to the environment, so we could really be at the start of something big.”
      Business Minister Mark Prisk said:
      “Today’s news that motorists will be able to choose from at least nine cars under the consumer incentive scheme and that we are expanding the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles will further reinforce the message that the UK is Europe’s leading producer of ultra low carbon vehicles.”
      Today’s announcement further confirms the UK as a global front runner in the market for ultra-low emission cars and open for business for hi-tech green manufacturing. This builds on Nissan’s decision to produce the Leaf in Sunderland and the work the Automotive Council is doing to improve the way government works with industry.

The government has passed legislation cancelling identity cards for British citizens. From 21 January 2011, those identity cards that have already been issued will no longer be legal forms of identification.

This means you’ll no longer be able to use the identity card as a valid document to prove your identity for a practical driving test or for Driver CPC periodic training.

If you don’t have a photo card licence and counterpart to prove your identity but have an old-style paper one, you must bring this and a valid passport.

For more information about the cancellation of identity cards visit direct.gov.uk/identity

Electric and Ultra-Low Emission Cars

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