As an operator, transport manager, driver or technician, you know just how quickly vehicle technology continues to progress.
That’s why it’s vital for DVSA's essential Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness to be regularly updated.
As the lead traffic commissioners for enforcement, we're pleased to have worked with DVSA and with those who operate and maintain commercial vehicles to produce the latest version of the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness, which is available now.
This ongoing collaborative working ensures that the information is informed, relevant and up-to-date.
You will find references to new approaches such as electronic brake performance monitoring which can remove some of the challenges around roller brake testing of trailers.
On safety inspection intervals, this edition of the guide no longer features the graph of mileage vs inspection frequency. We strongly encourage you to take a proactive, evidence-based approach to setting inspection frequencies.
As before, nothing in the guide is mandatory but, by following it, you’ll ensure that you meet the relevant conditions and undertakings on your licence.
These are the commitments you made when you first applied for your licence.
Sarah Bell and Kevin Rooney
How much importance are you putting on safety when you send your vehicles out onto public roads, where everyday people go about their day-to-day business?
Shockingly, it’s not always the answer we’d expect within the transport industry.
Expired MOTs, missed maintenance inspections, loose wheel nuts, failing ABS systems and inadequate monitoring of drivers’ hours are commonplace in some operations, raising very serious concerns for road safety.
In a recent case heard by Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton, a vehicle had a tyre blow out while in service which also left the rear stop and indicator lights inoperable. After replacing the tyre, the driver continued on his journey for a considerable distance with lights that weren’t in working order.
A DVSA investigation found that the driver of the vehicle didn’t possess the necessary driving entitlement or a driver CPC, while the vehicle was operating without an MOT. Few safety inspection records were available for scrutiny and the operator couldn’t produce any tachograph data.
Nick Denton described the actions of the operator as “a grotesque failure” to abide by many of the requirements for safe and lawful operation of vehicles. Revoking the firm’s licence was an “inevitable” outcome.
The most serious cases of non compliance can also lead to criminal convictions and fines. Recently, the director of a company and a HGV supervisor were convicted for causing or abetting dangerous driving after a vehicle involved in a crash was found with 18 safety related defects.
The judge described the vehicle as an accident waiting to happen and said the risk of harm posed was “at a level of death” after a member of the public was left with life changing injuries.
The pair involved were fined sums of £9,000 and £2,000 respectively. They’d previously been dealt with by Nick Denton at public inquiry, where the licence was revoked and the director disqualified for eight years.
Allowing vehicles which are not roadworthy to be driven on public roads should never happen. Operators who let standards fall don’t just put their licences at risk, they also risk people’s lives.
From Monday 4 June 2018, learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales.
This will help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.
How the change will work
Learner drivers will need to be:
Any motorways lessons will be voluntary
It will be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough for them.
Until the law changes, it’s still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.
Find out how the rules will work in the full announcement
Are you confident about the work your transport manager is doing to ensure compliance?
In his annual report for 2016/17, the North West Traffic Commissioner, Simon Evans, highlighted the issue of transport manager accountability.
At public inquiry, he’s seen far too many transport managers fail to provide evidence of what they’ve done to manage the transport operations.
It’s an issue every licence holder should be alive to. Professional competence is a mandatory requirement for your licence.
In a recent case, a Bolton operator admitted his transport manager hadn’t carried out his role in any fashion. The transport manager was actually acting as an agent to find work for the operator’s vehicle.
Mr Evans described the licence as a “shambles right from the outset” with DVSA reporting a number of shortcomings and serious failings.
The Traffic Commissioner said the transport manager had lost his repute and would be disqualified. He’d acted “in name only”, which is unacceptable for any transport manager or licence holder to allow. The operator also lost his licence and was disqualified.
In his annual report, Mr Evans said transport managers can’t exercise continuous and effective management of the transport operations if they aren’t recording their personal activity in the business. This could be a letter, internal report, memorandum to directors or instructions to drivers.
More guidance about the role and responsibilities of transport managers is available here.
From Monday 5 March 2018, DVSA traffic examiners will start issuing on-the-spot fines for any drivers hours offences committed in the last 28 days.
Traffic examiners will issue fines for up to 5 drivers' hours offences in a single check.
The change was first announced in September 2017, and we’re now able to confirm the start date.
Find out more about the changes to drivers' hours fines.
The office manager of an Upminster recycling firm has been praised for her appreciation of the importance of compliance.
Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton said she was the main reason he had allowed the company’s licence to survive and that the operator could be trusted to comply in the future.
The regulator suspended the firm’s licence for 14 days after hearing about convictions, drivers’ hours infringements and issues with safety inspection sheets.
The operator had been prosecuted for serious environmental offences, which led to a £120,000 fine and 10 month suspended prison sentences, but failed to tell the Traffic Commissioner’s Office.
The company was subsequently convicted for failing to display an operator’s licence disc and for an employee who was driving a vehicle without the correct entitlement.
Mr Denton said a meaningful period of suspension was necessary but added that he had been “favourably impressed” by the contribution of the company’s office manager
On 19 December 2017, the Department for Transport launched a consultation on plans to amend regulations and the Highway Code.
The consultation asks for your views on proposed changes to the Highway Code, which would allow the use of remote control parking and motorway assist.
These changes will help us safely take advantage of the benefits of automated vehicles.
Applying for an IVA test: updated forms and guidance
Today, 15 December 2017, some IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) forms have been updated due to recent changes to the Road Vehicles (Plating and Testing) Regulations 1988.
You'll need to download new forms if you're applying for a:
The forms to apply for other types of IVA tests haven't changed.
We will shortly be releasing further course dates for Driver CPC and ADR courses in both Ipswich and Great Yarmouth. We can also offer courses at customers premesis (subject to suitability of site). Contact us if you would like your training (ADR or CPC) to be held at your site.
A superb effort from all the delegates who sat ADR training with us at the Holiday Inn Hotel at Ransommes Europark Ipswich. Another 100% passmark, congratulations!
Want your ADR ? Further course dates are being announced on our bookings website: