DVSA’s “fundamental shift in approach”

A senior official from the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency has indicated at a recent conference that its current procedures are failing, suggesting a fundamental shift in its approach in the near future from enforcement to compliance and a desire to reduce the burden placed upon “exemplar operators”.

Caroline Hicks, the Head of Enforcement Transformation at the DVSA, told delegates at Coventry’s Microlise conference she wished to see a move towards telematics and remote enforcement. Roadside checks are a significant burden for the DVSA and hauliers alike,with Motor Transport reporting that the DVSA carries out roughly 10,000 roadside checks per month. Hicks also stated that a single roadside check on a major haulier could cost up to £4,000 and that it was both intrusive and not an effective method of reaching the entire haulage industry.

Hicks’ comments also suggested that a risk-based approach would emerge in the near future from DVSA. She referred to a light-touch earned recognition scheme for “exemplar operators” (similar to FORS) to reduce the burden of administration and cost upon those clearly meeting industry standards but conversely confirmed that serial non-compliant offenders would bear the brunt of the DVSA’s resources in a Continual Focused Targeting Regime.

If the DVSA follows through with these changes they should be welcomed by all corners of the haulage industry, albeit with a pinch of salt. A concentration upon remote enforcement and telematics may see an increase in enforcement actions for minor, technical breaches of the law. The light-touch exemplar operator scheme lacks detail at this stage and hauliers may be asked for significant access to operator records in order to verify their level of compliance.

For further information please contact Joanne Witheford or Vikki Woodfine.

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