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An operator’s journey: from S mark to suspension to satisfactory

An operator’s journey: from S mark to suspension to satisfactory Licence holder moves from critical to compliant after public inquiry Picture this scenario. An operator’s vehicle picks up an S marked prohibition at the roadside. DVSA go out to do a full inspection and find various issues. Out of date inspection sheets (by nearly a decade), missing records for vehicles, defects on PMIs that drivers should’ve picked up, no proof of brake testing and no TM audits. All of this happens when the operator’s trying to get extra vehicles and trailers approved on their licence. It’s not looking good for them, right? ________________________________________ Serious wake-up call As you’d expect, the Traffic Commissioner called the firm to a public inquiry. Here he found out the operator hadn’t kept its promises to DVSA. And paperwork still wasn’t being completed properly. The hearing was a serious wake-up call for the operator. Some positives were seen by the Commissioner, including investment in new fleet, a good annual test history and TM refresher training. But it wasn’t enough to prevent action against the O licence – the vehicles were suspended for 14 days. And the fleet increase wasn’t approved in full either. ________________________________________ Moving on So, the operator avoided losing their licence. Which meant they got a chance to turn things around. And they did. 18 months after the hearing, DVSA went out to inspect the firm again. This time the examiner found a significant improvement. The inspection records and driver defect reporting systems were mostly satisfactory. He was also happy with the transport manager, including on continuous professional development. Not everything was perfect,...

Why we trialled body cams for enforcement staff

________________________________________ Why we trialled body cams for enforcement staff In our latest Moving On blog post, DVSA Enforcement Manager Matt Barker tells you about why we decided to trial body cams for our enforcement staff, how the trial went and what we’re doing next. DVSA’s frontline enforcement staff are out in all weathers, all times of the day, keeping Britain’s roads safe. They do a tough job and they do it well. But even though they do vital work keeping motorists and their families safe, they sometimes receive abuse from the drivers they stop and penalise. You might think this is just part of the job, but we disagree. That’s why we decided to trial the use of body cameras on some roadside enforcement checks. A small minority You may be surprised to know that since 2016, abuse against our staff has risen by over 50%. I’m sure you’ll agree this is unacceptable. While the majority of people we see at the roadside are polite and considerate, a small number can be aggressive and threatening towards our examiners. These people can have a serious effect on our staff, and they give lorry drivers a bad name. We’ve resolved to do everything we can stop them. What are body cameras? Body cameras are exactly what you might imagine they are. They’re small devices, about the size of a mobile phone, usually worn on the chest, which record video and audio, much like a personal CCTV device. The police have been using this type of cameras for a number of years. More recently, traffic wardens have started using them. So far,...

HGV Roll-Out Annual Test From May 2018

________________________________________ Has your heavy vehicle been tested yet? Last month, we explained that certain vehicles with heavy goods chassis will need to have had an annual test by 20 May 2019 to remain legal on Britain’s roads. This is because some heavy goods vehicles lost their test exemption in May 2018 and came into the scope of test. If you’ve not already done so, you must arrange to have an annual test carried out on your vehicles. They need to pass the test before the next vehicle tax renewal is due. Vehicles now needing a test certificate include: • mobile cranes • breakdown vehicles (not breakdown vans) • tower wagons • some mobile engineering plants • some trailers designed to produce asphalt • road construction vehicles (not road rollers) • electrically propelled motor vehicles first registered since 1 March 2015 • tractor units pulling exempt trailers • certain motor tractors and heavy and light locomotives exempted under sections 185 and 186 (3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, where these are based on an HGV chassis They will then need a test every year after their first test. Overview Some heavy vehicles (based on a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) chassis) stopped being exempt from needing an annual test on 20 May 2018. For some of these vehicles, you have up until the date your vehicle tax renewal is due to get it tested for the first time. This is known as the ‘phased approach’. However, other vehicles need to have an annual test certificate from 20 May 2018. Vehicles that stop being exempt These categories of vehicles stopped being...

What DVLA has been doing to clamp down on vehicle tax evasion

What DVLA has been doing to clamp down on vehicle tax evasion Since the start of 2019, DVLA wheelclamping teams have been busy up and down the country targeting untaxed vehicles. Bethan Beasley, DVLA’s Senior Leader of Enforcement Partnerships, tells us more. It’s been a very busy start to the year for all of us on the DVLA enforcement team. We’ve been across the country in various locations looking for vehicles that haven’t been taxed – and we are not done yet. It’s all part of a wider campaign targeting the 11 locations of the UK where vehicle tax evasion is highest. The 11 areas of the UK have been targeted where vehicle tax evasion is highest (based on the number of enforcement actions that took place in 2018). Area Clamped Fines or Penalties Totals London 27,605 94,550 122,155 Northern Ireland 5,516 67,944 73,460 Birmingham 5,076 50,045 55,121 Manchester 7,573 26,214 33,787 Glasgow 2,666 29,705 32,371 Sheffield 3,987 25,291 29,278 Cardiff 3,021 24,598 27,619 Nottingham 3,507 21,346 24,853 Bristol 3,496 20,412 23,908 Leicester 3,344 19,196 22,540 Coventry 1,257 18,193 19,450 In 2018, we took enforcement action – ranging from fines to clamping – on over 464,000 vehicles in these areas. As well as the hard work we’re doing out on the roads every day, we’re running local advertising in each of the regions including radio, printed publications, poster sites, websites and on social media. All of these activities together are designed to make the driving public think again if they’re considering not taxing their vehicle. There really is no excuse not to tax. It’s never been easier for motorists...

Office of the Traffic Commissioner’s

Untrustworthy operator who ignored all the warning signs has application refused Traffic Commissioner says persistent non-compliance with the law means operator is unfit to hold a licence The operator licensing regime is one built around trust and honesty between the traffic commissioners and operators. The regulators need absolute certainty that the people they’re licensing can be trusted to carry out their operations in a safe and lawful manner. A business saw its licence application refused at a recent public inquiry when it failed to show any respect for the application process or the law. The firm persistently ignored warnings not to operate illegally but was stopped by DVSA on several occasions doing exactly that – even after being explicitly advised of the rules. It took over two months for the operator to submit an application for a licence. Which meant they’d continued to operate illegally during that time and left other compliant operators following the correct procedures, like you, at a disadvantage. On the day of the inquiry, the business failed to produce any of the requested evidence to support its application and claimed it wasn’t aware it was doing anything wrong. Traffic Commissioner for the West Midlands, Nick Denton, concluded the firm couldn’t be trusted to operate within the law going forward and refused the...

Historical drivers’ hours offences: 1 year on

________________________________________ Historical drivers’ hours offences: 1 year on It’s been 1 year since DVSA started being able to issue fines for up to 5 drivers’ hours offences committed in the previous 28 days. On the first anniversary, DVSA enforcement policy manager Mark Horton tells you how it’s gone. Driving while tired is a big problem. It dulls reaction times, impairs judgement and can make you less coordinated. That’s why we take drivers’ hours offences so seriously. Since 5 March 2018, we’ve been handing out fines for drivers’ hours offences committed within the previous 28 days. To mark the first anniversary, I thought I’d tell you what we’ve done, what effect it’s had, and why it’s better for everyone. What changed, exactly? From 5 March 2018, DVSA enforcement staff have been able to issue fines as much as £300 each for up to 5 drivers’ hours offences committed in the previous 28 days. That could mean a total fine of as much as £1,500 in one stop for particularly bad offenders. Before, our examiners could only issue roadside fines for ongoing drivers’ hours offences that were still happening at the time of the check. If they saw any offences before that, they needed to take the driver to court to fine them. It was more difficult and expensive to get a non-UK driver along to these court hearings than a British driver, which posed a real problem. To help us solve this problem, our powers were changed to allow us to take tougher action against all dangerous drivers exceeding their hours. Bigger net, more fish Unsurprisingly, being able to cast...

Regulators welcome new Commissioner for Scotland

Regulators welcome new Commissioner for Scotland Claire Gilmore joins the team working to keep Britain’s roads safe Traffic commissioners work to promote safe, fair, efficient and reliable passenger and goods transport. At the start of this month, they welcomed a new team member, Ms Claire Gilmore, to join that mission. Ms Gilmore is a solicitor who has specialised in litigation for most of her career. She is also a qualified engineer. Before taking up her new role as the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, Ms Gilmore was the Senior Investigating Officer in the Office of the Ethical Standards Commissioner in...

Office of the Traffic Commissioner : Traffic commissioners take action on abusive drivers

Traffic commissioners take action on abusive drivers Some of our recent cases show that a handful of drivers believe it’s appropriate to be aggressive and intimidating towards DVSA staff. We’ve picked out two examples to show what happened to those drivers. Driver banned until 2021 Bombardment of abuse was worst DVSA examiner had been subjected to in 11 years DVSA examiners carry out routine enforcement checks every single day. They’re doing a really important job – checking that commercial vehicles and their drivers are running compliantly. For some operators and drivers, a roadside stop might be seen as an inconvenience. But most understand it’s an essential part of keeping our roads safe and so cooperate with enforcement staff. However some don’t. Richard Turfitt, the East of England Traffic Commissioner, banned a driver for three years after he was aggressive and threatening towards a DVSA examiner. He was stopped using a vehicle without an operator licence disc and couldn’t produce his driver CPC. He’d also failed to use a tachograph to record the journey. The driver – who was also the operator – said the examiner had no right to look at his paperwork, became agitated and aggressive and ripped up the prohibition notice and fixed penalty. The driver said that when DVSA came to visit him, he’d make the examiners a drink and urinate in it. He also warned that DVSA would need to come with the Police. He didn’t show up at his conduct hearing before the Traffic Commissioner. Mr Turfitt said drivers who display this type of habitual and persistent behaviour have no place in the industry....

Office of the Traffic Commissioner: Helping your drivers to comply

Helping your drivers to comply TC guidance offers case examples to share with staff How many of your drivers know they’d face a four week suspension for using a mobile phone while driving a commercial vehicle? Or that they’d be suspended for six weeks for a second speeding offence? Some possibly don’t even know the Traffic Commissioner can take action against their professional driving licences. That’s why our vocational driver guidance has 26 different examples of how traffic commissioners deal with driver conduct. The case studies cover a range of circumstances, including: • mobile phone offending • drink driving bans • using a magnet to interfere with the tachograph • using another driver’s digicard • failing to respond to the directions of a DVSA stopping officer The guidance also lists the starting points which traffic commissioners consider for different offences. You can use these starting points and the case examples to educate your drivers about the consequences of poor...

Register your trailer to take it abroad service goes live

DVLA Digital Services New ‘Register your trailer to take it abroad’ service goes live If you’re taking a trailer abroad, you may well need to use our new trailer registration service. Rebecca Naylor from DVLA Vehicle Services gives the...