Draft proposals have been produced to amend the EU directive on initial and periodic training. The proposals allow for the exemption of drivers working in certain industries.
Currently, anyone who drives a relevant vehicle is subject to the requirement to undergo 35 hours periodic training, unless they fall within one or more of a narrow range of exemptions. These currently include if the vehicle is being used for non commercial carriage of goods and if the vehicle is carrying materials or equipment that is being used by the driver in the course of his work, provided that driving is not his principal activity.
The new proposals include allowing member states to exempt drivers of vehicles used by agricultural, horticultural, forestry, farming or fishery undertakings, provided that they are carrying goods as part of their entrepreneurial activity and provided that driving is not the driver’s principal activity. This will remove a regulatory burden from these sectors.
In the past, there has been criticism that some drivers have repeated the same course, just in order to show that they have completed 35 hours training. The proposals include a requirement that at least one of the 7 hour sessions shall cover a road safety related subject and that a range of subjects should be covered over the 35 hour period. Repeat training should only be done, where it is shown that the driver needs specific remedial training.
Whether or not the directive will take effect before Brexit takes place, remains to be seen. However, we are now well into the second tranche of CPC training, with PSV drivers having to have completed 35 hours training by 10 Sept 18 and LGV drivers by 10 Sept 19. Operators and drivers should now have in place a regular training scheme.