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This blog post was published under the 2010-2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Stopper trial with Highways Agency

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Highways Agency vehicle on the motorway

We are trialling a joint working pilot with Highways Agency (HA) to stop commercial vehicles at the roadside.

HA Traffic Officers will be trained in stopping officer duties, but incident management will remain their priority. They will be supporting, rather than replacing, DVSA stopping officers.

We are running a 4 month pilot near Doxey on the M6 from 1 September, to assess if joint working improves on our ability to target high risk vehicles, and how the additional demands will affect HA Traffic Officers.

So let your drivers know that if they are travelling near Doxey from September this year, they may be stopped by a HA Traffic Officer rather than a DVSA officer.


Image supplied courtesy of Highways Agency

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  1. Comment by david posted on

    So let's get this right then....... Today I get a job as a traffic officer....... Tomorrow I get extra training to do some of the DVLA's job? Is this the new job share or something?

  2. Comment by John Smith posted on

    Mission creep again. Spot on re putting people at risk as unknown who is allowed etc. Dangerous

  3. Comment by Moving On posted on

    Many thanks to everyone for their comments and questions on this issue - we understand why some of you are concerned about being pulled over by bogus officers in disguise.

    To reassure you - only one Highways Agency vehicle is being used in this pilot and it has a sign on the back clearly stating that it is involved in partnership with DVSA.

    The Highways Agency traffic officers involved have all received DVSA training and spent time shadowing our own staff before they could be accredited and carry out stopping work for us. They display a DVSA accreditation warrant on a pocket on their uniform when they are stopping vehicles. For this trial, Highways Agency traffic officers are working under the direction of DVSA and not under their own judgement.

    There has been no need to change the law - the regulations allow for the Secretary of State to appoint 'stopping officers' that meet the set criteria. We have made sure that the Highways Agency traffic officers meet the exact requirements of our own stopping staff - this includes specific training and overall suitability checks before they could be issued with their warrant cards.

    You should also be aware that Highways Agency traffic officers are simply helping us to stop vehicles for the purpose of inspection - they are not undertaking any other enforcement role.

    With kind regards,

    The Moving On team

    • Replies to Moving On>

      Comment by russell carter posted on

      what a load of rubbish, next thing it will be the lolly pop lady on the school crossing.

  4. Comment by Richard posted on

    What penalty will be invoked if the driver refuses to pull over when signalled to do so on the premise that they do not know if it's a legal stop or not?

  5. Comment by paul chadwick posted on

    The more the better . Remove the cowboys.
    Road safety is paramount.

  6. Comment by mick posted on

    just another way of getting our hard workoing truckers

  7. Comment by mark watkins posted on

    Do these officers get paid by the amount of vehicles they stop or a set amount. As we know if some one is on a bonus then they will use this to make money regardless of the disruption to the honest transport companies out their .

  8. Comment by Richard Bettinson posted on

    The amount of effort put in to policing HGV's it's a shame the same amount cannot be put into theft of diesel from lorries and criminal damage apart from secure parking of which there is not enough for all the trucks no where is safe now but of course processing a thief costs money processing a lorry driver makes money unless they come from certain parts of Europe and they have no money.

  9. Comment by A Davies (Mrs) posted on

    In your reply to Jim's question, you state that "only a nominated few of Highways Agency’s traffic officers will be working with us to pull vehicles from the motorway in for inspection at our checksite" followed by the statement that "these staff are accredited by the Secretary of State under the Road Vehicles (Powers to Stop) Regulations 2011 and as such have ‘powers to stop and direct’ in the same way as accredited DVSA staff."
    Can you please advise how a Driver is to know that he / she is being stopped by an "accredited" HATO, rather than a bogus official? In these days of heightened national security, and increasing numbers of vehicle and load thefts, security of oneself and ones load should be paramount.

  10. Comment by Mr Wootton posted on

    This shouldn't be allowed to happen, how will we know wether it's a bogus vehicle or not.

  11. Comment by D G Bryan posted on

    The least number of people permitted by statute law to stop commercial vehicles on the road the safer the carriage of goods by road will be. theft from commercial vehicles is a serious and national problem costing the economy a great deal of money. It must be remembered that it is the commercial sector of the economy that pays for everything that is State funded through various taxes. therefore anything that may damage the commercial sector should be very carefully thought through before putting it in place. Also the safety of commercial drivers should be considered too.
    At one time only the Police and a traffic warden directing traffic or school crossing patrol on duty could stop a commercial vehicle. Now it is the DVSA, and in the future the Highways Agency traffic Officers, who next. Each multiplication increasing the possibility of criminal activity. In the long term I do not think this is a good idea.

  12. Comment by Kevin posted on

    How can a driver tell if an officer has the authority to stop & direct, when travelling on the road... Is there a different colour of uniform or car?

  13. Comment by Julian Harris posted on

    Good to see the sharing of this resource

  14. Comment by John E McCann posted on

    HA traffic officers who ever next at this rate you will have civilians in cars without any markings trying to pull trucks over,
    The foreign truck drivers wont be getting this latest edict and therefore will have no knowledge they are legally being stopped and not just about to be unlawfully robbed.
    Drivers carrying high value loads perhaps will be of the same opinion but hey ho its only a defenseless truck driver that could get a bang over the head if they go stopping for every tom dick and harry...

  15. Comment by ian nicholas posted on

    I hope the HA officers receive proper training on the stopping procedure as only a few days ago I almost collided with one as he re joined the m6 from the hard shoulder doing a approximately 20mph causing everybody to swerve. Definitely not the sharpest knife in the draw.

  16. Comment by Jessie, DVSA posted on

    Hi Jim,

    A very good question. For the trial, it is specifically only a nominated few of Highways Agency’s traffic officers who will be working with us to pull vehicles from the motorway in for inspection at our checksite.

    These HA traffic officers have received the same level of training as our own stopping officers. The training course is delivered by the police and bespoke for our requirements. So these staff are accredited by the Secretary of State under the Road Vehicles (Powers to Stop) Regulations 2011 and as such have ‘powers to stop and direct’ in the same way as accredited DVSA staff.

    • Replies to Jessie, DVSA>

      Comment by Mark Pigott posted on

      Hi Jessie,

      On the back of Jims question, Has legislation been changed to allow this? If yes could you please include a link showing the change in legislation including time frame?

  17. Comment by Jim Marsh posted on

    i thought the traffic officers power to stop and or direct traffic could only be exercised in certain circumstances, ie, regulation of traffic etc. What powers are being are being used to allow a Highways Agency Traffic Officer the power to stop a commercial vehicle for the purposes of it just being subject to a check by a DVSA Examiner?