Driver Conduct Hearings

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Driver Conduct Hearings

As with operator’s licence holders, good vehicle and passenger carrying vehicles (PCV) entitlement-holding drivers are regulated by the Traffic Commissioner, who can decide whether to allow them to continue driving regulated vehicles. The overall responsibility of the Traffic Commissioner is to consider whether a driver is fit to drive such vehicles, with regards for that driver’s conduct.

For this reason, it is important that drivers seek legal advice and representation as soon as possible when they are called to attend a Driver Conduct Hearing to assist in presenting their case in the strongest possible way to the Traffic Commissioner.

The road transport solicitors at JMW are highly experienced in providing legal advice, representation and defence against drivers who are accused of conduct that could result in the loss of their vocational licence and their ability to work as a professional driver.

To speak to a solicitor about a matter relating to a Traffic Commissioner Driver Conduct Hearing, call JMW today on 0345 872 6666. Alternatively, complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will give you a call back at a convenient time.

How JMW Can Help

Due to the risks posed to their livelihood, many drivers choose to have our expert road transport solicitors representing them during a conduct hearing. Our specialist solicitors can help you by:

  • Considering the evidence against you
  • Advising you on the regulatory guidelines
  • Advising on the steps you can take to best prepare for your hearing
  • Contacting the Office of the Traffic Commissioner on your behalf
  • Preparing written submissions where appropriate

We will always strive to get you the best possible outcome so you don’t run the risk of losing your vocational licence or the ability to drive large goods/PCV vehicles.

What is a Driver Conduct Hearing?

A Driver Conduct Hearing is a tribunal hearing in front of the Traffic Commissioner. During a hearing, the commissioner will look into your driving conduct and professional competence and decide whether to take any action against your professional driving entitlement.

Hearings are typically held in public unless the Traffic Commissioner feels that holding the hearing in private will ensure a fair hearing. 

What Offences Result in Driver Conduct Hearings?

There are a variety of reasons why the Traffic Commissioner may call you to a Driver Conduct Heaing. These include:

  • Tachograph offences, including falsifying tachograph records and other drivers’ hours offences
  • Offences involving the overloading of vehicles
  • Driving offences that result in a disqualification being imposed, such as drink driving
  • Offences related to using a mobile phone or other handheld device while driving
  • Non-driving offences that have resulted in a community penalty and/or custody
  • Criminal offences that have resulted in a suspended prison sentence

How Does a Traffic Commissioner Decide Whether a Driver is Fit to Drive?

The Traffic Commissioner will consider aspects such as convictions and/or disqualifications when asking themselves the question of whether a driver is fit to hold their current entitlement. High numbers of speeding offences and/or points on a driver’s licence may attract the attention of the Traffic Commissioner.

Equally, where a driver comes to the end of a driving ban, before reinstating their entitlement to drive regulated vehicles, the Traffic Commissioner will want to hear why they should give back that entitlement at the same time the driver receives their private vehicle entitlement. It is possible that even when a driver receives their driving licence back following a driving ban, they may not necessarily immediately receive their regulated vehicle entitlement.

Other incidents relevant to a driver’s conduct that will likely cause them to be called in to a Driver Conduct Hearing might be tachograph or drivers’ hours infringements, or if that driver was involved in a bridge strike.

On occasion, the Traffic Commissioner may call a driver in to attend a Driver Conduct Hearing at the same time an operator is called to attend a Public Inquiry. In such circumstances where the operator is represented, the driver may want to take their own legal representation to the same hearing.

What are the Possible Outcomes of a Driver Conduct Hearing?

Traffic Commissioners can take the following actions against a professional driver:

  • Revocation of your regulated vehicle driving entitlement
  • Suspension of your regulated vehicle driving entitlement
  • Disqualification for a set period of time
  • A formal warning
  • No action

Talk to Us

Speak to the road transport solicitors at JMW today to find out more about how we can help if you are called to a Traffic Commissioner Driver Conduct Hearing. Simply call us on 0345 872 6666, or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will give you a call back at a convenient time.