By Marcus Leach
Drivers are to be released from reams of red tape currently required by government, Transport Secretary Justine Greening announced today (Thursday).
As a result of the Road Transport Red Tape Challenge — the government wide process to get rid of unnecessary, burdensome and overcomplicated regulation - the Department for Transport is:
Scrapping the regulation requiring motorists to hold a paper counterpart to their driving licence by 2015 — saving drivers up to £8 million.
· 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.
Following a vigorous process of challenge, both by the public and within Whitehall, a total of 142 road transport regulations will now be scrapped or improved.
"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," Justine Greening said.
"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.
Join us on