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Do I need legal advice as a truck driver?

Do I need legal advice as a truck driver?

As the manager of a fleet, it is nearly unavoidable to come across a legal issue whether it’s related to health and safety, commercial contracts, employment or a legal dispute. But what about legal advice for truckers? 

While a truck driver hopefully doesn’t need a lawyer very often, it is still very useful to be up-to-date on the latest truck drivers’ rights and obligations. You can find a lot of useful tips online. Here are some of the legal areas we recommend you’d get familiar with.

Alcohol and driving

Obviously, the best advice is just not to drink anything when driving but especially you’re away on the road for longer periods of time and are potentially crossing multiple jurisdictions, make sure you are aware of the requirements of the countries you’re passing through. Did you know some countries require you to carry a breathalyser?

Illegal immigration

Both the truck driver, the truck owner and the fleet can be fined up to £2,000 per ‘clandestine entrant’ you carry on board your truck in the UK. In some countries, this fine is even higher so make sure you know your legal requirements when it comes to checking for unexpected visitors.

International and local laws

As you will be aware, the highway code is significantly different in each country and even more so for truck drivers. But beyond regulation related with the road, also familiarise yourself with other local laws especially when you’re staying overnight. Did you know you can get fined for driving a dirty vehicle in some countries?

The environment

The regulation around eco-friendly driving is only growing. Ensure you know what you can and can’t do as well as how to make your truck compliant with environmental laws.

Aggression on the road

Arguments and road rage are all too prevalent. Before getting carried away in a heated dispute, make sure you understand how your reaction might be a criminal offence.

Drinking and smoking

The laws between different countries vary quite great about smoking within your lorry. The same goes for eating and drinking (something non-alcoholic) while driving. Check the local regulations before you leave.

Customer conflicts

Although most disputes with customers should be dealt with by your fleet manager, it’s not uncommon for a truck driver to get stuck in the middle since you’re often the only physical point of contact. Make sure you are aware of your rights and obligations as a driver so that you don’t get stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Are there any other legal areas for which truck drivers should look up legal advice? Let us know in the comments! 

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