EU Driving Regulations And Brexit - What Could Change?
I don't know about you, but it's been pretty hard for me to avoid Brexit at the moment. It's the topic of any remotely political discussion, and with negotiations imminent, all of that emotion has been stoked up once again. But in all that talk of the value of the pound and trade deals and immigration laws, not much time has been dedicated to discussions about the smaller impacts. You know, the kind that add up over time. In this instance, I'm talking about EU driving regulations, and how Brexit might impact our haulage industry - the foundation of much of our British commerce.
The End Of The Driver CPC?
Before any HGV driver can legally work in the industry, they must complete a Driver CPC qualification. This qualification - taken in 4 parts, is the professional standard for all HGV drivers, and it's an EU directive. If you are going to drive a HGV professionally into, out of or through a country in the EU, you have to hold one. Period. So in that sense, for international haulage firms, or those who service EU countries, not much will change. Their drivers will still have to hold this qualification, and many new drivers will probably opt to take it anyway so that they have more career options open to them. But what about the British only firms, who never set tyres off of British soil? Well, the likelihood of a professional qualification being scrapped is pretty low, so instead what we might see is a new qualification for professional HGV drivers emerging. One that suits the needs of British drivers and isn't as prescriptive with regards to ongoing medical checks, which have been a bugbear in the industry for a long time.
Hours To Become Slacker?
Driving for long periods of time is an exhausting ask - mentally and physically. But professional drivers do this for long hours every single day and night. In order to stop them burning out, driving when they are tired (which has been proven to be more dangerous than drinking and driving) and or working too many hours, the EU Drivers Hour's Rules was created. These apply to any professional driving goods or passenger vehicles, and are vital for creating a safe motoring environment for our country. They are what ensures a minimum safety standard, dictates the length of time you can drive in one sitting and over the course of 1 week and 1 fortnight, how often you have to take breaks and how long those breaks should be, and more. Overall, they are good rules. Which is why it's great that we won't lose them, even if we leave the EU. These rules were considered so important that in 1968 the government commuted them into UK law, in the UK Transport Act 1968. It is worth noting however that the Working Time Directive, which governs average working hours, rest periods and annual leave under this law is up for review soon, so it is possible that some internal changes could be made - but these wouldn't be related to Brexit in any way.
Overall, Brexit will affect a lot of things in the UK, and the HGV industry is just one of them. But the rules and regulations of the roads don't just affect HGV drivers - there are plenty of things that will change for the average road user too, if Brexit does happen. For example, petrol and diesel prices are likely to go up, because we have to import it in from other European countries. It's rumoured that insurance companies are looking to switch to a more selective and specific insurance algorithm if we leave the EU, which means we will probably see car insurance prices start to creep up for certain people, and drop for others. If that wasn't enough, the general cost of buying a new car will probably get a lot steeper as well, thanks to all of the extra import chargers we will have to pay EU members to ship their goods to a non-EU country. One of the bonuses is that is has been confirmed that British drivers will still be able to use their UK drivers' license when they go abroad, without needing to take a specific EU test. This only applies to those travelling or delivering though, so for Brit's living abroad in EU countries, you might have to take a new test very soon. For more information and updates about the HGV driving industry and its exciting developments, get in touch with the team today.