HGV Driver Caught Speeding? – 5 Things You Need to Know
Every driver knows that exceeding the speed limit is a criminal offence which can lead to penalty points, a fine and a driving ban. For truck drivers however, the position is even more serious. If you are caught speeding and hold an HGV drivers’ licence you can expect to face not just the criminal courts but also a hearing before the Traffic Commissioner. Below are 5 things every lorry driver needs to know about speeding offences:
1) You May be Called to a Driver Conduct Hearing to Explain Yourself
Unlike ordinary car drivers, as an HGV driver your vocational licence is regulated by the Traffic Commissioner. This means that if you are caught speeding, whether in an HGV or not, you face not only criminal proceedings (Fixed Penalty Notice / Magistrates Court summons etc), but may also face regulatory action by the Traffic Commissioner.
This takes the form of a Driver Conduct Hearing at which the Traffic Commissioner will question you about how the speeding offence occurred, and consider whether or not he or she should take action against your professional drivers’ licence.
2) You could Lose your HGV Drivers’ Licence
The powers of the Traffic Commissioner are extensive. The “starting point” for a second offence of speeding in a commercial vehicle carries a 6-week licence suspension. However this is only a starting point and the actual action taken may vary widely depending on the circumstances of each case.
3) Speeding in Your Own Car is still a matter for the Traffic Commissioner
It is a commonly held myth that the Traffic Commissioner can only take into account speeding offences which occur behind the wheel of an HGV – this is wrong. In deciding what action to take against the holder of a truck licence, the Traffic Commissioner can, and will, take into account all your conduct “as the driver of a motor vehicle.”
This means that if you are caught speeding in your private car on your day off, you can still be called to a driver conduct hearing and have your professional licence suspended or even revoked.
4) Your Employer will have to Report you to the Traffic Commissioner
The holder of an operator’s licence has a legal duty to inform the Traffic Commissioner of any relevant driving offences committed by his or her drivers and this includes fixed penalty notices. This applies even if you are a temporary agency driver. If they do not, they risk being called to Public Inquiry and having regulatory action taken against their O licence.
5) Speak to one of our Road Transport Lawyers for a free initial consultation
Smith Bowyer Clarke Road Transport Lawyers are one of the very few niche road transport law firms operating nationwide. Our lawyers have great experience in representing HGV drivers before the criminal courts and at Driver Conduct Hearings on all road transport and motoring offences. Pick up the phone today for a no-obligation, free initial consultation with one of our transport lawyers. Fixed fees available.