ROAD TRANSPORT ANNOUNCEMENT – GOVERNMENT SLASHES MOTORING RED TAPE (15 December)

Drivers are to be released from reams of red tape currently required by government, Transport Secretary Justine Greening announced today. Our Road Transport Red Tape Challenge spotlight was live between 20 May and 17 June – and received over 2000 comments. Within the Road Transport Red Tape Challenge theme, DfT placed over 400 regulations online for your views. After removing those that have already lapsed, 376 remain – of which 142 will be scrapped or improved following a vigorous process of challenge. Plans include:

– scrapping the regulation requiring motorists to hold a paper counterpart to their driving licence by 2015 – saving drivers up to £8 millon.

– improving the regulation surrounding the notification process for vehicles that are not in use on the road (Statutory Off Road Notification or SORN). Once drivers have notified the DVLA that their vehicle is SORN, they will no longer have the burden of annual SORN renewal.

– only issuing hard-copies of V5C vehicle registration certificates for fleet operators when needed, with the potential to be rolled out to private motorists.

– introducing a limited exemption from drivers’ hours rules so that those who also drive as Territorial Army reservists in their own time can continue to do so.

Justine Greening said: “Motorists shouldn’t have to keep numerous bits of paper just to prove they can drive and have bought insurance – we live in digital age and we need to embrace that. Reducing the number of rules and regulations in our life is absolutely vital to removing barriers to economic growth and increasing individual freedoms. This whole process just proves that there’s so much sitting on our statute books that at the very least needs a good spring clean or can be scrapped entirely.”

Other proposed changes to road transport regulations include:

– removing the need for an insurance certificate. The Department for Transport will work with the insurance industry on removing the need for motorists to have to hold an insurance certificate.

– abolishing the requirement for drivers to prove they have insurance when applying for tax meaning 600000 more people will be able to tax their car online. This has been made possible by new checks of existing databases for insurance under new Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules. The DVLA’s records are compared regularly with the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to identify registered keepers of vehicles that appear to have no insurance.

– we will look at experience in other countries on driver Certificates of Professional Competence (CPC) – the qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers. In particular, to see if we could remove the need for some sectors, such as farmers who drive stock to market, from needing a CPC.

– local authorities will now have to ensure business interests are properly considered as part of any future proposed Workplace Parking Levy scheme. They must show they have properly and effectively consulted local businesses, have addressed any proper concerns raised and secured support from the local business community.

– abolishing the regulations on the treatment of lost property on buses. Bus companies currently have to wait 48 hours before they can throw away perishable items left on the bus.

Below are a selection of your website comments, which were analysed by DfT in their de-regulatory diagnosis.

You Said: Ross Barret (8 June) – “The counterpart paper driving license should be scrapped. All the necessary information could be easily contained on the photocard licence. It acts merely as a bureaucratic block to people trying to do things. There is no ‘paper counterpart’ to a bank card or passport. This is because it is a totally unnecessary piece of bureaucracy.”

You Said: Chris Chatfield (June 13) – “Reduce regulations for conduct of bus drivers and conductors. These can instead be dealt with under standard employment regulations.”

You Said: Chris (June 12) – “Workplace Parking Levy should be scrapped. It is an unnecessary additional tax on work.”

You Said:
John (June 16) – “The Public Service Vehicle (Lost Property) Regulations could perhaps be deleted; It is in the interests of any operator to assist passengers with lost articles and indeed this should be part of their general business obligations. The regulation is probably superfluous.”

You Said:
Julian (June 16) – “Pedal Cycles (Safety) Regulations 2010 – remove bell requirement.”

Relevant Links

The closed Road Transport spotlight can be viewed here.

The DfT Press Notice can be found here.

The DfT Road Transport web page can be found here.

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