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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Out of date inspection sheets (by nearly a decade), missing records for vehicles, defects on PMIs that drivers should’ve picked up, no proof of brake testing and no TM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, but the examiner gave the operator further advice.
Continued compliance
Crucially, there was no need for the business to come back to public inquiry.
The Traffic Commissioner had said the operator could be compliant with support from a properly engaged transport manager.
By not revoking the licence, he’d trusted the business to deliver on this.
And the visit from DVSA showed they were now taking compliance seriously.