U-turn over artic driver's licences
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by Herren Hayes • The Government has backed down over plans that would have allowed holders of rigid and drawbar licences to drive artics from next year, as first revealed by Commercial Motor.
The plans, part of the European Commission's second directive, would have allowed drivers who held old Class 2 and 3 licences since 1 April 1991 to be given the C+E artic status (CM 13-19 June).
However, following an outcry from the industry the Government has proposed to keep current entitlements restricting Class C+E drivers to driving just rigids and drawbars. It felt it would be too dangerous to allow under-qualified drivers to drive large trailer combinations. The move was welcomed by driver training schools; for financial and safety reas ns. Mike Amos, propriete of Shropshire-based White Line Transport Agency says: "That's brilliant, if Class 2 drivers had been automatically given ii Class 1 licence the effects on safety could have been horrendous. It would have put people's lives at risk."
The Government is consulting on giving "grandfather" rights to drivers who may; not meet new eyesight standards One requirement is that drivers given rights show they htive driven regularly for a mininium of six months over the past'fly': years. The Government wants suggestions on how to define and prove "driving regularly".