Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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BAILIFFS - The Law and Your Rights

Written by John Kruse, one of the leading experts on Bailiff Law, this consumer friendly guide is essential reading for anyone who comes into contact with a bailiff.

The book is easy to understand and clearly explains the rights a bailiff has, and also what they cannot do when collecting debts and repossessing goods etc.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder kezza150 Novitiate

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    Default Tachograph offences fine

    Hi,
    not sure if i'm posting in the right bit here but here goes...

    A friend of mine has just been fined nearly £2000 for tachograph offences, he received the court notification for it today - it says that the amount must be paid in 28 days:o
    Can anyone tell me if this is right as he would really struggle to pay this amount in that time especially at this time of year. Is it possible for him to arrange installments?

    Anyone
    Thanks in advance,
    kez.

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder cal37 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    He must have known about this. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Vosa) prosecute for tachograph offences and they will have confiscated the relevant tachographs when he was stopped.

    At the time he would of been informed that he is being reported for X offences.

    He would have had the right to attend the court and defend himself and I’m guessing he did not and the court found in his absence.

    Fines for tachograph offences are heavy and £2000 is about right these days in fact he should feel lucky, many drivers has been sentenced to varying terms of imprisonment for tachograph offences.

    He can now write to the court asking for time to pay, he should do this ASAP.

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  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder gwc1000 Informative gwc1000 Informative gwc1000 Informative

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    Rather than write to the Court, I would suggest it would be better to attend. You don't need an appointment. Just go on a day that the Court is sitting, arrive at 10 o' clock and explain to the Court usher you want to be seen by the magistrates about case no XXXX. You might get in straight away or you might have to wait all day. When in, explain that the amount will cause hardship blah blah blah and ask for time to pay. The magistrates will listen and because you made the effort to turn up will consider you take the matter seriously, and should work out a weekly sum. They understand there's no point persuing somebody for money he doesn't have.


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder Trojan1401 Novitiate Trojan1401's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    From a different perspective, can you advise what the offence was ? Was it a case that he was "forced" by his employer to drive over the limits etc. If so then he could have a claim against his employer under H&S regulations. I'm not an expert on H&S law however I would suspect that there may be an arguement here that the employer may be liable.

    Just a thought.

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  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder gwc1000 Informative gwc1000 Informative gwc1000 Informative

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    I don't think that argument would work. I can't see that a driver's responsibilities when alone in a cab could be laid at somebody elses door. The company in this case would also have had a similar fine anyway.
    Unles of course we are talking about an owner/driver here.


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder cal37 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    The problem you have with saying the employer forced you to break the law is that the Traffic Commissioners consider that the driver is a professional and must refuse at all times to break the law.

    The driver is 100% reasonable for his/her conduct on the road. When a driver is reported for tachograph offences, the employer is spoken to as well; this is because under their operators licence they are reasonable for their drivers conduct too.

    If it is proven that the employer “forced " a driver to break the law then the H & S are the least of their problems, They can have their operators licence cut, suspended or removed, at the very least a heavy fine.


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    Basic Account Holder Trojan1401 Novitiate Trojan1401's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    That's enlightened me also. As I said, it was just a thought which funnily enough answers a questioned raised last month at work (insurance) by a colleague on behalf of a haulier.

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  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder crash3903 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    Not suggesting this should be pursued but what about use cause or permit if the employer forced him to drive outside the tachograph - Up for discussion?


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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    I would think that if the time restraints were so tight that speeding was involved or regulated breaks could not be taken, then the employer would have given him a vehicle without a taco.
    Knowing you have a taco means that you cannot be forced to do something that is not allowed as everything is recorded, so the driver will have to take the full concequences.

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  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder cal37 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    Quote Originally Posted by Conniff View Post
    I would think that if the time restraints were so tight that speeding was involved or regulated breaks could not be taken, then the employer would have given him a vehicle without a taco.
    This would work unless he had driven an hgv that comes under the tacho regs in the same week. If thatís so then even if he had driven a vehicle without a tacho, he would still need to take the regulated breaks.

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  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder advisee Novitiate

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    Quote Originally Posted by Conniff View Post
    I would think that if the time restraints were so tight that speeding was involved or regulated breaks could not be taken, then the employer would have given him a vehicle without a taco.
    Knowing you have a taco means that you cannot be forced to do something that is not allowed as everything is recorded, so the driver will have to take the full concequences.
    But virtually all work in vehicles over 3.5 tonnes needs a tacho (few exceptions, recovery etc).


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    Quote Originally Posted by cal37 View Post
    This would work unless he had driven an hgv that comes under the tacho regs in the same week. If thatís so then even if he had driven a vehicle without a tacho, he would still need to take the regulated breaks.
    Can you correct your post please. I believe there was a court case than confirmed that any private driving or commuting the employee did in his own car cannot count towards his driving hours. I'm not quite sure what your point was supposed to be.

    Also he could quite legitimately drive a vintage lorry (25 years old or over)to a show at a weekend, and this also wouldn't count in his driving hours.


  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder cal37 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    If you drive a non tacho fitted vehicle as part of your job in the same week as a vehicle fitting with one you come under the tacho regs for that whole week.

    Also there has been a case that where a driver uses a private car to drive to meet a vehicle to take over duty which is away from its normal base, then it has to count as duty time and be recorded.You are correct that commuting to work does not count unless as above.

    My point was, that a poster said”

    I would think that if the time restraints were so tight that speeding was involved or regulated breaks could not be taken, then the employer would have given him a vehicle without a taco."

    Meaning as part of work so my post is 100% correct.You are mixing driving hours with duty hours.

    Also if the person driving a show truck at the weekend gets paid to do this then it forms part of his working week and must be recorded.

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  14. #14
    Basic Account Holder advisee Novitiate

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    Cal,

    The time driving in a car to take over a truck would count as duty time (in tachograph terms, as "other work") - in my opinion, driving a transit van for work one day would also count as "other work" rather than as "driving" - simply because the vehicle is out of scope (as far as the new tachograph regulations are concerned).

    Isn't it the fortnight that matters, not the week?


  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder cal37 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    Hi Advisee,

    If you drive an out of scope vehicle in the same week as an in scope vehicle then you must follow UK Domestic driving rules while driving the out of scope vehicle.

    (A driver must not drive for more than 10 hours in a day. The daily driving limit applies to time spent at the wheel, actually driving. Off-road driving for the purpose of agriculture, quarrying, forestry, building work or civil engineering counts as duty rather than driving time. Daily duty limit a driver must not be on duty for more than 11 hours on any working day. A driver is exempt from the daily duty limit on any working day when he does not drive. A driver who does not drive for more than 4 hours on each day of the week is exempt from the daily duty limit. )

    This is where the law gets complex, if you drive an out of scope vehicle in the same week as an in scope vehicle then under EC driving rules,you must record the work ( driving and other work), staying within the EC regs. So which laws do you follow? Who knows really but the intelligence officer at VOSA I spoke too advised to record all work and keep within both UK domestic and EC hours to be sure.

    Its very complex and many drivers and employers have come foul of the law but basically, if you get paid for it then record it. There are a few exceptions i.e.: retained firemen, TA soldiers etc but people involved in these will be well aware of their exceptions.

    This site gives some advice FTA - Information on Key Issues - Member Briefing Notes Digital tachographs and GB domestic hours' rules guide

    This one too Page 3 rules

    And this one DVTA Compliance: FAQs: Tachographs

    It’s all a minefield and the Haulage industry is the most heavily regulated industry in the UK. I have been involved in the industry since before I could walk, my father owned before his death a company running 71 tractor units and 140 trailers my brother still runs it today. Although I made a career change 5 years ago I’m still very much involved with the family business and in fact own 49 % of it

    Over the years I have seen the rules change over and over again and in fact one traffic area might interpret a law differently than another traffic area ( i won`t even go into other EC states ).

    We are not really dealing with the courts (or they are not what worries us) but dealing with the traffic commissioners, these can end your business at a click of their fingers.

    Just to make a point, you can only be fined for speedingicon if caught by a policeman or a camera yes? well 6 months back the family business was before the traffic commissioners because tacho records of 5 drivers showed that they regularly speeded when leaving the operating centre doing 56 MPH ( there are no motorways within 20 miles ), the traffic commissioners put a temporary licence restriction on us, reducing our licence by 10 trucks for one month.

    The drivers had their HGV ( or LGV if you’re a young one) suspended for one month. All this without a single court case.

    You see even if a driver was banned by court say for drink driving and after 12 months gets it back, they still have to go before the traffic commissioners and they might not give back the HGV licence at all effectively ending his/hers career.

    Let’s not even get onto the working time directive, they can conflict and ever counteract each other.

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  16. #16
    Basic Account Holder advisee Novitiate

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    Quote Originally Posted by cal37 View Post
    The drivers had their HGV ( or LGV if youíre a young one) suspended for one month. All this without a single court case.
    That was a fascinating post. Your paragraph above concerns me, however.

    Presumably it was just the HGV part of these peoples' licences that was suspended? How did they know which peoples' licence to suspend? What about people who were casual with you and had a main job elsewhere?

    What if anyone had both bus and truck entitlement - would they have their whole licence suspended?


  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder cal37 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    Yes it was just the HGV or more correctly their vocational licence that was suspended. The traffic commissioners have the power to suspend / revoke or even refuse an application for a provisional vocational licence.

    If they had both Truck and Bus the both would be suspended, when a person gets banned for drink driving say, then their drivers licence is suspended To hold a HGV or PSV licence you must hold a full car licence too. The HGV part is not suspended in that case but they can not drive a truck because their full car licence has been suspended by the ban.

    When a traffic commissioner suspends a HGV licence he does not suspend (nor has the power too) a car licence, so you can still drive a car.

    They suspended the 5 drivers who’s tacho`s had shown them speeding. Personally we do not employ casual drivers but even if we did, we would have to provide the tachos for the trucks they drove.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    Ah, so it was just the errant drivers, rather than all your drivers? I misread your previous post.


  19. #19
    Basic Account Holder cal37 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Tachograph offences fine

    Quote Originally Posted by advisee View Post
    Ah, so it was just the errant drivers, rather than all your drivers? I misread your previous post.

    Yes thats corect, sorry if the post was not clear.

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