The Senior Traffic Commissioner has updated the advice note issued by him in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (click here) and has indicated that Public Inquiries (and other Traffic Commissioner hearings such as Preliminary Hearings and Driver Conduct Hearings) will continue during Lockdown 3. The Traffic Commissioners do, however, continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and may identify cases where a virtual hearing (conducted via video link) might be appropriate rather than an ‘in person’ hearing.
Current advice is that, as long as you do not have confirmed or possible COVID-19, you can continue to attend Public Inquiry, Preliminary Hearing or Driver Conduct Hearing as usual. That advice is, however, subject to change and your hearing may ultimately be adjourned to a later date.
If you do have confirmed or possible COVID-19 and have been called to a Traffic Commissioner hearing, or if you are required to self-isolate/quarantine for any reason, you must contact the Office of the Traffic Commissioner at the earliest opportunity so that alternative methods of running the hearing, such as attendance via video link, can be considered.
The Office of the Traffic Commissioner has undertaken thorough risk assessments in order to enable hearings to be proceed ‘in person’ and the safety of all concerned remains of paramount importance. If you do not adhere to the rules, “this puts everyone’s health at risk and undermines the strict rules the government have put in place”.
Do I need a Solicitor?
At Backhouse Jones, our eight-strong team of individually and collectively ranked road transport Solicitors is the largest of its kind and handles more Public Inquiries each year than any other firm. We are intimately familiar with the Public Inquiry process (including the ‘new norms’ of Case Management Directions – which make preparation at the earliest possible stage all the more important – and virtual hearings introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic) and the expectations of the Traffic Commissioners and use our unrivalled expertise to hand-hold you through every step of your Public Inquiry journey (for more information, click here).
So, if you have received Public Inquiry call-up papers, or fear a Public Inquiry might be on the horizon (if, for example, you have had an issue at the roadside or have been the subject of a DVSA investigation), arm yourself with the best representation available by choosing Backhouse Jones’ team of expert road transport solicitors. Contact email@example.com or click here for more information.