TC calls for greater awareness of mental health

‘It is a major concern’ says regulator as he reminds Transport Managers of need to exercise control

Traffic Commissioner Tim Blackmore has called on operators to pay close attention to their drivers’ mental health after revealing that one individual called to a driver conduct hearing was suicidal.

“Mental health is a major concern for me at driver conduct hearings,” says Mr Blackmore. He was speaking last week at the Confederation of Passenger Transport Northern Region AGM, held in Jesmond.

“It has become a real issue. As a sector we have not yet quite grasped that yet.” He adds that Transport Managers (TMs) bear a responsibility to monitor drivers’ mental health as part of their duty to exercise continuous and effective control over an operation.

“I cannot suspend a driving licence on the grounds of mental health, but I can flag my concerns to DVSA. If a TC does that, DVSA is likely to follow it up.”

Mr Blackmore advises that operators should have a risk management policy in place that prevents employees from driving should they be judged incapable of doing their job safely.