Skip to main content

Working with operators to improve compliance

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Enforcement

DVSA enforcement staff checking under a lorry

Every day our enforcement staff are out there on Britain’s roads stopping dangerous and unsafe drivers and vehicles.

Usually this means pulling them over as part of our roadside checks and issuing fixed penalties and prohibitions to dangerous drivers and operators. But, we’re always looking at other ways that we can work with the industry to improve compliance.

Continuous targeted enforcement

We continually monitor operator compliance so we can focus on operators who are serially non-compliant, posing the greatest risk to road safety.  

To protect you from these unsafe drivers and vehicles, serially non-compliant operators will be selected for increased targeting by our enforcement staff.

If an operator is selected for increased targeting, we invite them to a meeting with us to discuss the issues we have and make suggestions on what they need to do to increase their compliance.

If they decide to work with us, we’ll give them a period of time to improve and our enforcement activities won’t be as disruptive.

If an operator chooses not to work with us we’ll increase the number of times we target their vehicles - this could mean stopping the operator’s vehicles several times a day. This is very disruptive, and costs operators lots of time and money and could mean they miss timed delivery slots. This could also damage the operator's reputation if they’re missing delivery slots and their vehicles are turning up late.

Portuguese operator leads the way

In 2016, DVSA wrote to a serially non-compliant Portuguese operator and invited them to meet with our enforcement staff.

During the meeting, we explained the consequences non-compliance could have and talked through their specific offences and defects. These included:

  • serious brake defects
  • serious steering defects
  • exceeding the daily driving time
  • insufficient daily rest

We then met with the operator again in April 2017. Since our first meeting, the operator had taken several measures to increase compliance, these included:

  • changing the roads they use to reduce damage to the vehicles before reaching the UK
  • setting up additional maintenance teams to improve the roadworthiness of the vehicles
  • taking action against drivers who are committing drivers’ hours' offences
  • increasing training to help drivers understand the consequences of breaking drivers’ hours' rules

As a result of working with us and listening to our advice, the operator was able to avoid serious disruption to their business and continual enforcement stops, and we’ve stopped our increased targeting on them.

Working together is the way forward

This case study shows that working with us is better for the success of your business and for road safety.

So, if you find yourself selected for increased targeting, don’t ignore our invitation to speak with us - it could save you lots of time and money, avoid damaging your reputation and help keep our roads safe.

Take a look at our commercial vehicle safety and maintenance guides, and don’t forget you can manage your commercial vehicle compliance online.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. You can also sign up for email alerts.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Richard Payne posted on

    Have to say I agree completely with Chris I see overloaded wagons everyday in my area and it's not just scaffold lorries either vans are by far the worst offenders.
    I look Forward to you clamping down across the whole sector because the playing field is not level at the moment.

    • Replies to Richard Payne>

      Comment by Trevor posted on

      The level playing field is a myth. There are numerous bottomless black holes which cannot be remedied and trap the unwary. The co-existence of domestic and EU drivers hours regulations is unbelievable. Working with a mix of the two is a nightmare, the rules of one regularly contradicting the other.
      Added to this the pay and conditions of those working in the UK varies on their nationality?
      Further problems are caused by those operating in the black economy. The operators who are doing so legally and understand their costs are perpetually undermined by those who are not regulated or under the radar. Once the responsible operators have gone, what is going to be left?

  2. Comment by Trevor posted on

    Hopefully the aim is to reduce road accidents and casualties which need a drastic reduction from the current average of 'five a day'!
    Engaging and working with those employed in what has become a complex technical and legislative industry is a step forward and may prove fruitful where the continuous churning out of legislation has failed?
    Engagement could be the key? The majority of drivers want to be professional and work safely. Many are alienated by arguments over minor issues which have little effect on road safety?Even worse, many who understand their duties and obligations are tiring of the continual increase in regulation and leaving the industry. Engage or alienate? The choice should not be difficult? Us and them hasn't worked.
    With an average of 1800 deaths annually on our roads there is no room for complacency. Listen to the rhetoric, maybe. Engage, definitely but keep an eye on the statistics they are not only numbers, they are lives.

  3. Comment by frederick b lycett posted on

    Fair play,
    Cannot fault DVSA approach, after all there is only One way to do a job and that is do it right, to the best of your ability, given that the facilities are or can be made available

  4. Comment by Michael posted on

    Great news, keep in comming

    Michael Burke, Dip.di. ADI fleet. Car & LGV.

  5. Comment by chris gunson posted on

    hi there my name is chris from ssc scaffolding sheffield from starting my buisness my priority is my trucks if there not working we are not earning,i have a great issue with my employees that do not look after there truck, all my inspections are done to standard and we are moving forward but in the scaffolding sector which is ours its easy to pick up a truck or pick up fill it with scaffold and carry on this happens in every major city not just ours, i would like to see city watches not just motorway if you drive through any city you will in a day come across more illegal vehicles operating than on a motorway, ive seen 2 this morning on my travels, also overloaded, so it would be nice to see a clampdown on these rogue traders thank you.