A number of changes come into force on 25 January 2016. Driver CPC is, of course, the qualification required by European Directive 2003/59/EC (‘the Driver CPC Directive’) to be held by drivers of lorries, buses or coaches in the EU. With some exceptions, drivers must obtain a “Certificate of Professional Competence”, valid for 5 years, and thereafter undergo 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years.
The change with most practical application is that there is an amendment to extend the radius within which an empty goods or passenger vehicle can be driven from the driver’s base without the driver requiring Driver CPC. This radius is extended from 50km to 100km. This may assist many businesses by avoiding the need for driver training and qualification for some staff.
This exemption was intended for those driving empty vehicles, e.g. mechanics or valets. It applies to those whose principal activity at work is not driving “relevant vehicles” within a certain radius, now 100km. The 50km radius was originally set to align with the EU drivers’ hours tachograph relaxation for vehicles carrying materials, equipment or machinery for the driver’s use in the course of their work. The 50km relaxation was amended to 100km last year through a change to EU Regulation 561/2006 inserted by EU 165/2014. The Driver CPC change therefore creates a consistency.
Other amendments include adding the prison service to the existing list of bodies whose use of a vehicle is exempt from the application of the Driver CPC Regulations, some technical legal changes and also aligning the requirements relating to gears in lorries used in driver CPC tests with those for lorries used in vocational driving tests: those undertaking practical CPC tests in the category ‘C’ or ‘C plus E’ vehicle will not require the vehicle to have 8 or more forward-gear ratios.
Source: The Vehicle Drivers (Certificates of Professional Competence) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 – S.I. 2015 No. 2024