Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (Formerly VOSA)
DVSA provide a range of licensing, testing and enforcement services. Their aim is to improve roadworthiness standards of vehicles ensuring the compliance of operators and drivers, and supporting the independent Traffic Commissioners.
DVSA is responsible for carrying out roadside spot-checks on commercial and other vehicles to monitor:
- Safety and environmental standards
- Drivers’ hours and tachograph use
- Operator licensing
- Vehicle licensing
- Vocational driver’s licences
Checks are made at the roadside or at weighbridges which are permanent sites.
DVSA enforcement officers can issue Fixed Penalty Notices to drivers at the roadside in respect of certain offences including drivers’ hours, overloading, and those relating to vehicle defects.
Drivers’ daily vehicle checks are crucial to prevent vehicles being taken on the road with defects. Such defects can result in Fixed Penalty Notices and Prohibition Notices (also known as aPG9). The level of Fixed Penalty will vary depending on the offence and the driver is also likely to receive 3 penalty points on his/her licence. In cases where Fixed Penalty Notices are not appropriate, if non-compliance is found then Prohibition Notices are generally issued.
Depending on the alleged offence, DVSA may conduct an interview with the driver at the roadside. These interviews will be carried out under caution and notes will be taken at that time. Specific questions will be asked relevant to the offence(s). Further investigation may take place which could lead to prosecution by DVSA.
If DVSA have concerns over a driver or operator’s non-compliance, this will be reported to the Traffic Commissioners. The Traffic Commissioner may decide to hold a Public Inquiry at which regulatory action may be taken against an Operator’s Licence. A driver may also be called to an LGV entitlement hearing.