On May 21st, more than 100 goods and passenger transport operators and fleet managers gathered at the impressive Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridge, to hear the latest legal and regulatory updates at the Woodfines Solicitors Road Transport Conference.
The event brought together a mixture of in-house speakers from Woodfines Solicitors, alongside external speakers including the East of England Traffic Commissioner, the DVSA Head of Enforcement Transformation and Gordon Humphreys from Foster Tachographs.
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Head of Transport Law at Woodfines Solicitors, Tim Ridyard, chaired the event and, together with Woodfines Partner, Mike Hayward, provided an update describing trends in operator licensing, the removal of Magistrates’ Court fines limits, the introduction of criminal court charges, the new drug-driving offence and the current trend of significant penalties for health and safety offences and corporate manslaughter. The team emphasised the need for early intervention to avoid non-compliance and outlined the sorts of problems often encountered by operators leading to prosecution or public inquiry hearings.
Caroline Hicks, Head of Enforcement Transformation at DVSA, who explained the new concept of ‘Earned Recognition’ where exemplary operators should be rewarded whilst non-compliant operators should be the focus of enforcement activities. She also explained how technology such as ANPR was being used to target serious offending.
Gordon Humphreys outlined the content and ramifications of the new EU Tachograph Regulation in a well-received and popular presentation.
Richard Turfitt, East of England Traffic Commissioner, gave an in-depth talk about a wide range of problems and issues experienced with operator licences and he explained how licence applications are managed. Delegates also had the opportunity to speak with him on a one-to-one basis during a networking session after his presentation.
This was the fourth annual Woodfines Solicitors Road Transport Conference held in the East Anglia region. The event continues to grow each year due to the speakers it attracts and the detailed content it provides.