HORSEBOX DRIVING FIASCO ATTACKED
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HORSEBOX DRIVING FIASCO ATTACKED

Anyone with a horse box and a full-time job could find themselves the wrong side of the law - and in Worcestershire that could mean a lot of people, warns local MP Peter Luff.
Strict interpretation of a European Regulation which bans anyone with a full-time job from driving an HGV lorry or equivalent vehicle (over 7.5 tonnes) at weekends is having a damaging and serious effect on the people who need to drive a horsebox in their spare time.

Peter has joined forces with Horse and Hound magazine in a bid to persuade the Department for Transport and Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to ensure drivers of large horseboxes are excluded from laws over compulsory and prohibitive rest periods.

The industry had previously been told that the European Regulation governing drivers’ hours for vehicles over 7.5 tonnes would only apply to people who drove HGVs commercially for a living. But several recent cases highlighted in Horse & Hound have shown that VOSA has changed its mind, and is advising the horse industry that anyone with a full-time job must now comply with the Regulations.

Commenting Peter said:

“Obviously, I welcome any regulations that are brought in to improve safety and to prevent serious accidents. But the Department of Transport and the VOSA need to apply some common sense. When an individual’s full-time job is unrelated to driving HGVs, he or she should not be banned from driving a horsebox at the weekends as part of their hobby.

“The VOSA has quite rightly already granted an exemption to those in the Territorial Army – but it needs to go one step further, put an end to this fiasco, and exempt all individuals whose full-time job does not involve driving HGVs.

“If these regulations continue to be imposed on drivers of large horseboxes, I fear it will become impossible for many people to take part in shows and events, which would be a great blow for them and also a real hit to the equine industry and rural economy.

“I have added my name to the Horse and Hound petition, and will continue the fight when Parliament reconvenes in the autumn. I urge anyone else who shares these concerns to visit the magazine’s website and add their name to the petition also.”

ENDS

Notes:

The European Regulation governing HGVs is Regulation 561/2006. Full details can be found here
Further details about the Horse and Hound campaign can be found here; http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/285971.html


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