Logistics

Driving law changes 2020

Drivers, watch out! Here are just some of the latest potential changes to the law that will affect everyone that gets behind the wheel in the United Kingdom in 2020.

While it’s uncertain at what point in 2020 some of these laws will come into effect, it is still good to be aware of any changes before they happen.

Low emission rules

Low emission rules have already been in place in the capital since April 2019, but now more cities across the country will be added to the list.

Currently in central London, if a vehicle doesn’t meet ULEZ emission standards, the driver has to pay a charge to drive in the defined area. The ban affects older diesel cars more heavily. Now in 2020, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Newcastle, Derby and Edinburgh will be added to the list of cities charging cars producing high emissions.

Driving permits and green cards

If, on the 31st of January, we leave the EU without a deal government guidance explains that current British driving licences will be useless.

If you’re planning to drive in the EU as a visitor, you will have to spend £5.50 on an international permit – that’s only if we leave without a deal though.

You will also need to carry a motor insurance green card when driving your own car in the EU and EEA.

Parking surcharges and new legislation

Since 1974, there has been a pavement parking ban in London but the rest of the UK could soon follow suit. However, this legislation is facing some opposition, so it could be some time before we are no longer allowed to park on the pavement.

In positive news, the RAC has been backing changes to implement a new code of practice which will protect drivers from rogue parking companies by banning certain practices and create a single, independent appeals process throughout England.

New MOT rules

There are new categories for defects with cars which drivers will have to understand, which are:

Dangerous – Direct risk to road safety or the environment. Results in a fail.

Major – Could affect safety or the environment. Results in a fail.

Minor – No effect on safety, but should be repaired as soon as possible.

Advisory – Could have an effect in future.

Pass – Meets the current legal standards.

A variety of new requirements are also being included in the MOT for the first time.

These include checks for:

Under-inflated tyres

Contaminated brake fluid

Brake pad warning lights and missing brake pads or discs

Reversing lights (for vehicles newer than September 2009)

Daytime running lights (for vehicles newer than March 2018).

Smart Motorways

It is already an offence to drive in a lane closed by a red X sign on a smart motorway and if caught, you could receive a fixed penalty of up to £100 and three points. However, legislation is now being worked on to enforce even stronger penalties.

Highways England is also planning to build more emergency refuge areas across the smart motorway network, with work on the M25 having already begun.

Car tax

Another change which will affect users of high emission cars. High emission cars will be charged up to an additional £15, and diesel car owners whose vehicles fail to meet the new mandatory RDE2 emissions standard will continue to pay higher tax rates.

New car buyers could also face an extra £65 on their first year’s car tax.

At Bluestones Supply Chain, we always keep up to date with changing laws which could affect our drivers and companies we work with. If you want to find out more about how we can support your business, please get in touch with our dedicated team.

Top 10 craziest dash cam videos

Where would we be without dash cams? Some of the footage they capture is mental, from the hilarious to the downright dangerous. Unsurprisingly, dash cam ownership has gone from 1% to 15% in just 4 years – most insurance companies now accept dash cam footage as evidence of a car incident, it helps people relive near misses and humours happenings, prevents taxi, bus and coach drivers from facing potentially hazardous situations and assists the police in prosecuting dangerous drivers.

Without further ado, here are our top 10 craziest, stupidest and most dangerous dashcam videos.

  1. In this clip from Germany, an impatient driver tries their best to get in front of a lorry – just watch what happens.

2. Some vehicles just want to be birds and something like a roundabout isn’t going to stop them from spreading their wings.

3. Do you ever watch police chase footage and think “Just give up already!”? You’ll be thinking that again and again while watching this one.

4. There are people out who just have a need for speed, it doesn’t matter who is in their way as the people driving down this English country road found out.

5. When a lorry and a Ford came into contact on a sharp bend you can guess who came out worst.

6. This is why you should check your mirrors and check them again…..and then again one more time for luck.

7. You just wouldn’t believe the nerve of some people – dash cams don’t always capture real “accidents”.

8. It’s not always front facing dash cams that capture footage. Having a rear facing dash cam is just as beneficial in capturing dangerous driving.

9. Not quite dash cam footage, but this crazy. We call this one “When you remember you left the oven on”.

10. Road rage is real, and people aren’t afraid to use their car as a weapon.

And, a Brucie bonus – there is a light at the end of the dangerous driving tunnel.

If you have dash cam footage you’d like to submit to your local police for review, you can via the National Dash Cam Safety Portal. It’s worth noting that by using this service you will be filling out an official police report, so you should treat it as such.

If after all of that you’d like to look for a new driving job, why not check out our latest logistics and industrial vacancies now.

HGV Driving: The facts

You’ve seen them on the road, but what are the facts behind HGV driving? Explore our infographic to find out the interesting, weird and serious HGV facts.

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Driver of the Year award launches

We are very pleased to announce the launch of the Driver of the Year award!

From the trunkers and the trampers to the local delivery drivers, we want to thank our drivers for all they do. Some people take lorry drivers for granted, but our society simply could not operate without their hard work. That’s why we believe it is important to recognise and reward our drivers. Our logistics division originally introduced the Driver of the Year award last year before Bluestones Supply Chain launched, rewarding their hardest working candidates from their Derby, Glasgow and Warrington offices. The popularity of the reward convinced us to launch it again this year, incorporating our new logistics office in Newcastle as well as our existing locations.

Our clients have been invited to nominate the drivers who have impressed them this year and gone above and beyond to deliver exceptional service. From the shortlist of nominated candidates, we will whittle it down to four winners who will be awarded £100 worth of shopping vouchers.

As well as rewarding and recognising our drivers, we will also be celebrating the role drivers play in the UK’s economy through a series of posts on our social networks.

The winners will be announced on the 1st of February on the Bluestones Supply Chain Facebook page.

To find out more about our driving opportunities, view our current roles or contact your nearest logistics office.

Top interview questions for professional drivers

Job interviews – something everyone has experienced at least once in their lives. It’s no different for professional drivers, especially those working contract roles who might end up attending several interviews a year.

If you’re yet to have your first interview as a professional driver, it can be daunting to know what to expect and if it will be dramatically different to any interview you’ve attended before. Many companies require their prospective employees to undergo a practical assessment to ensure they are technically capable, but what about the formal interview?

Here are some of the most common questions you can expect at an interview as a professional driver – whether that’s tramping up and down the country, making deliveries in a 7.5 tonne or nipping around the city in a van.

Tell us about your experience as a professional driver?

This is a standard question that most companies will ask. It is your opportunity to tell them about your past roles in more detail and give them more information you couldn’t cover in your CV.

What do you think the primary roles of a professional driver are?

The employer wants to make sure you understand that the role of a driver isn’t just driving. There are so many things a driver is also responsible for, like providing outstanding customer service, ensuring they are sticking to health and safety rules, maintaining the vehicle and keeping paperwork up to date.

What do you know about the company?

With this question, the company is checking to see if you’ve done your research and are passionate about the role you are pursuing.
What would you do if you were running out of driving hours but hadn’t finished a job?

The company want to see how well you are able to assess a situation – whether you’re running out of driving hours because of a traffic jam, slow-moving vehicles or hold-ups at a distribution centre – while ensuring you’re staying within the law and taking breaks when you need them.

Do you think teamwork is important in this industry?

While traditionally seen as a bit of a lonely job, employers want to see that as a driver you understand you are part of something much bigger and will be interacting with a wide range people from distribution centre managers, operations staff, other drivers and the public.

How do you handle unexpected instances? Like mechanical breakdowns or receiving the wrong load?

The company want to see how quickly you can think on your feet while remaining calm and finding a suitable solution to a problem.

How familiar are you with drivers’ hours and the European working time directive?

The company wants to make sure you know the laws that affect professional drivers throughout the UK and Europe and understand the importance of following them.

If you’re looking for a new driving role, check out our latest jobs or get in contact with the team.

How to prepare for your Driver CPC training

It’s an inevitable part of being a professional driver – as of 2015, all commercial drivers on the road are expected to have a valid Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC), which has to be kept up-to-date with periodic training every 5 years.

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Women behind the wheel

When you picture a lorry driver, what comes to mind? The stereotype of a trucker is a middle-aged man, which isn’t far from fact – the average lorry driver is a 51-year-old male, but in recent years we’re seeing a growing number of women behind the wheel.

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Top tips for driving safely this winter

Tips for staying safe on the road in this horrendous weather (good weather if you’re a kid getting the week off school!) are understandably being shared everywhere this week. Without an end to the snowy blizzard in sight (we’re being dramatic, the snow will be gone by next week), here are our top tips to get you through not only snow but flooding and fog.

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Changes to fines for commercial drivers

From the 5th March 2018, the rules around fining drivers for committing driving hours offences are changing. When the new rules come into effect, if you’re caught you could be fined up to £300 and can also be prosecuted or have your vehicle immobilised. It won’t just apply to offences committed that day, but anytime the rules are broken in the last 28 days, meaning the fines can be huge.

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Best apps for lorry drivers

As David Brigdale (Bluestones Supply Chain’s operations director) put it so well, “back in the day when I was a lad/driver we used good old-fashioned street maps and the tongue in our heads to ask for directions, had to use a call box to make phone calls and had what was called a BT chargecard which direct dialled the office. None of this electronic stuff…”

But, those days have gone (for better or worse, we don’t know yet) and there is now a whole host of apps available to make life on the road a little easier. Whether you opt for the free apps or shell out a bit of money for the premium ones, there’s no doubt there’s something out there to help you with your job

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