Mercedes Benz Vans has urged drivers of LGV vans that weigh between 3.5 tonnes and 7 tonnes to ensure that they have undergone the obligatory 35 hours of driver training that is required to ensure that they are driving legally. HGV drivers must undergo similar training, but the company believes that some van drivers may be unaware that they need to have this competency training, which means that they could well be driving illegally under the current EU legislation that was introduced in the UK.
The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence was introduced to try and ensure that professional drivers uphold the highest possible standards while they are driving on European roads. The government opted to introduce the laws, which require that professional drivers undergo a minimum of 35 hours mandatory training every five years, and they not only apply to drivers of trucks and lorries over 7 tonnes, but to drivers of vans weighing between 3.5 tonnes and 7 tonnes too.
It may be worth noting that Mercedes Benz Vans does have a vested interest in ensuring that everybody gets involved in the training, because they offer CPC training and certification, but it remains a valid point to ensure that you are driving legally. The laws are only relevant to those that drive these vans for their work, and not for people hiring vans for personal purposes.
The group also released figures, which suggested that some 4,000 vans would be sold this year that fall into the category of LGV, and this means that thousands of van drivers will need to have undergone their training before they are allowed to drive on the roads. The number may, in fact, be higher, because of companies and fleets that buy a single vehicle in order that it be regularly used by two or more drivers.
The driver CPC training programme has largely been welcomed by companies, drivers, and other road users. Businesses must ensure that their drivers have the appropriate certification and training, and some have gone a step further by demanding additional training be taken by their drivers.