Member Advice Centre

FTA’s Member Advice Centre (MAC) is a telephone service for FTA members that provides access to our transport advisors. Our team will offer you expert advice and answers on your legal and operational questions from drivers' hours and working time through to vehicle maintenance standards and current legislation. 
 

The latest advice from the MAC 

Take a look at three of the most recent questions our MAC team have encountered ...

 

Medical Matters

Q All our HGV drivers over 45 undergo fiveyearly medicals when they renew their vocational licences. However, we also operate two 7.5-tonne vehicles which are driven by pre-97 licence holders who have their C1 by acquired rights. Both these drivers are over 45 but have never had a medical, should they have done? The C1 expiry date is the same as their Category B car licence. 

A If the two drivers in question had gained their C1 entitlement through a test pass then the rules regarding medicals would apply. As the C1 entitlement your two drivers hold is classed as acquired rights it was gained through their pre-1997 car licence so the rules for car drivers and medicals apply, however a medical will be required by these drivers if they wish to retain the entitlement after the age of 70. There is still the requirement for the driver to inform DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) of any medical conditions that may affect his/her driving under the conditions of the licence whether a medical is required or not.

More on Driver Licencing

 

Light-Bulb Moment

Q One of our night drivers had a headlamp bulb fail at 2 o’clock in the morning. He called out the recovery operator to replace the bulb before he continued his journey. Surely as the bulb had just blown he could have waited until the vehicle got back to base and had it replaced by our own workshop at a vastly reduced cost?

A With regard to headlamp failure this is a mandatory lamp (Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989). The severity of the penalty issued by enforcement authorities will depend on the requirement for the compulsory use headlamps, due to daylight hours/weather conditions. At the time when the failure occurred the compulsory use of headlamps was required. If the driver had been stopped during this period by enforcement authorities, a £50 fixed penalty would have been issued and an immediate prohibition placed on vehicle.

More on Lighting, Markers & Reflectors

 

Testing Times

Q We have a 26-tonne vehicle that has been off the road undergoing long-term body repairs due to accident damage. It has now been completed and is ready to go back into service. However, the annual test has expired while the vehicle was being repaired. Can we take it to the maintenance provider who will prepare it and then take it for test? The distance is approximately 10 miles which would be on the public highway.

A Under legislation the only time a vehicle with an expired test certificate can be driven on the public highway is to a prebooked test appointment (it must still be in a roadworthy condition). If you need to take it to a maintenance provider, then it will have to be recovered to the provider. Another option, as the vehicle is a 26-tonner and comes under Plating and Testing Regulations, is to use trade plates for the journey. There is a provision which exempts a vehicle from the plating and testing regulations while being driven on trade plates. If the maintenance provider has trade plates, they may be able to collect the vehicle and bring it to their workshop. Regulations regarding the use of trade plates must be fully complied with if this provision is used.

More advice on Vehicle Testing

 

How can I access more advice? 

Visit our Compliance and Advice area online where members can access detailed information including sections from our Yearbook of Road Transport Law. 

View more Member Advice Centre FAQs
 
Read the latest editions of the Member Advice Centre Infozine (members only):

Issue 4 - January 2018
Issue 3 - September 2017
Issue 2 - June 2017
Issue 1 - April 2017

Contact the MAC

As a key part to your membership, the Member Advice Centre is there for all legal operational or technical queries.

Answering over 28,000 transport related calls a year, you can be sure help and expert advice is just a phone call away. The MAC is open 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday.

FTA Members can contact the MAC by:

Phone: 0370 605 0000 for advice today.

Email: mac@fta.co.uk