The Department of Infrastructure is seeking to update the Isle of Man’s Road Transport Regulations to place greater responsibility on haulage companies to maintain heavy goods vehicles in a roadworthy condition.
The introduction of Road Transport Regulations 2018 will require operators of vehicles over 3,500kg to demonstrate they are properly maintained and checked regularly.
A proposed two-tier system will place different restrictions on companies which operate off-Island from those which only trade locally.
Off-Island operators will be required to hold an Operator Licence, based on the system in place in Great Britain and the European Union. The move is designed to ensure firms can continue to trade freely, and to bolster the Island’s reputation as a responsible jurisdiction. Operators must be of good repute, have access to defined resources in order to maintain their business, hold a relevant professional competence certificate and have a suitable place to park their vehicles when they are not being used.
Operators who only work on-Island will be required to register as a Goods Vehicle Operator. As well as undertaking regular safety checks, they must be of good repute and have a suitable place to park their vehicles when they are not being used.
In addition, all operators must demonstrate that drivers make a daily visual check of tyres, lights, mirrors and other safety critical systems before using the vehicle. They must also arrange for vehicles to be inspected regularly to identify potential or developing issues with steering, brakes, suspension, tyres and other road safety critical systems.
The proposals would be regulated by the Road Transport Licensing Committee, with the annual licence fee set at £40.
Kate Lord-Brennan MLC, Member with responsibility for Highway Services, said:
‘These regulations will make Manx roads safer, and will place the onus firmly on operators to ensure their vehicles are fit for purpose all year round, not only when they go through their current annual check.’
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said:
‘Getting to this point has taken a considerable amount of work, in collaboration with haulage companies and industry bodies. We believe the proposed changes are needed to promote and support best business practice.’
The Road Transport Regulations 2018 will be considered at this month’s sitting of Tynwald, with Members being asked to approve the proposals.
If approved, the Regulations will come into operation on 1 January 2019.