Skip to main content

This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

DVSA Vision 2030 and what it means for enforcement

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Enforcement, Features

Our vision to 2030 sets out how we will be keeping Britain moving safely and sustainably. I want to take an opportunity to explain a little bit about what this means for enforcement work in the future, through 3 key areas.  

  • Set standards, assess and test 
  • Inform, educate, and advise our customers 
  • License and accredit, regulate, and enforce  

Set standards, assess and test 

Standards work when they are current, relevant and clear. This allows them to be understood and trusted which, in turn, makes them effective.  

Our enforcement teams across Great Britain work tirelessly to monitor commercial vehicle operators and drivers through roadside checks and operator investigations. So, what will change and why? 

As vehicle technology changes, the required standards and how we assess and test those standards, need to change to reflect this. We also need to be able to influence standards for vehicle and equipment approval in the future.  

Many of us can recall being told that when digital tachographs were introduced it would be the end of falsifying records – but operators and drivers soon found a way round this.  

So how do we stop that happening again? How can we be more involved in the early stages of standard setting? 

DVSA’s Connected and Automated Vehicle Project is leading the work in this area. The project group are engaging with teams across Department for Transport (DfT) and industry. We are already talking to them about the implications for enforcement work and are looking into Post Collision Examination work. 

We are working on our systems to make it easier for members of the public to report issues they come across, so we can investigate when standards are not being followed.  

Inform, educate, and advise our customers 

One of our key aims is to get things right first time. Doing this will result in better services, safer practice, and less burdensome regulation and enforcement for everyone. 

We are working with the industry to provide tailored and accessible guidance, supporting the industry to improve their compliance levels. 

In September we published some new content to support drivers carrying out HGV daily walkaround checks. The guidance has been translated into the 22 most common languages of drivers we encounter at the roadside.  Helping non-English speaking drivers understand what they need to check inside and outside of the vehicle when they do a lorry or other HGV walkaround check to drive safely in the UK. 

License and accredit, regulate, and enforce  

Finally, I wanted to share a bit more detail on the areas most of you will most closely associate with enforcement activity. 

We know the industry wants us to recognise the work it does to comply, freeing up its resources to support business growth. We will use our resources to target our activity where its most needed to identify and stop those competing in the industry unfairly and dangerously.  

The general public has an expectation that regulations can and will protect them, while businesses expect any enforcement of regulations to not prevent them from operating an efficient, flexible and competitive business. We are determined to deliver proper analysis of risk, so we direct appropriate enforcement resource at the areas it is most needed.  

Identifying the ‘best in class’ businesses, through our Earned Recognition and Road to Earned Recognition schemes, will enable us to reduce the administrative burden of regulation on the exemplars in our industry, while maintaining and improving regulatory outcomes.  

We will continue to build on the success of the Earned Recognition scheme and look to identify opportunities to make it a contracting standard. The team are already engaging with local authorities and have some local councils and major civil engineering projects signed up, as well as it being recognised as an alternative to FORS.  

We want to deliver the Road to Earned Recognition, currently in a trial phase, for all new operators, setting them off on their operator journey with clear expectations and monitoring, to get it right first time. 

We will detect more non-compliance remotely through better data and our investment in mobile checking kit. This will enable us to work away from fixed road check sites and use our examiners in a more flexible way while still delivering a robust level of inspection. 

We are already using the National ANPR Service (NAS) to identify vehicles that have made ‘impossible journeys’ – reaching locations too far away, too fast or both! We are directing roadside resource to intercept specific vehicles – not waiting and hoping they come by our check sites. 

Using NAS we have also trialled the ‘out of test HGV’ work, looking to identify how we can detect offences on a large-scale remote basis allowing us to give advice on what needs to be done to correct any issues found.  

However, to regulate ever more efficiently and effectively, we need to get to the root cause of non-compliance. We are restructuring our Intelligence Unit to better reflect our delivery and strategic aims, using our intelligence resources and NAS to help us identify harmful operators at the earliest opportunity, before they have opportunity to put dangerous vehicles or drivers on our roads. 

Join the conversation 

As technology improves and we learn more about the changes we make, we will continue to make our roads as safe as we can. We want to carry on working with all our customers, to deliver the most effective and efficient service we can, to improve road safety, while making sure the burden of enforcement falls most heavily on the most seriously and serially non complaint. Our message is that non-compliance is not the cost-effective option. 

Join the conversation on how we can improve our enforcement work by posting your comments and ideas – and let’s work together to make the roads safer for everyone! 

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by PHILIP MCELHATTON posted on

    Travelling on Britain's roads and motorways, it is fairly easy to spot unsafe vehicles with a trained eye. Those that wish to flout the law can easily predict where a fixed check point will be and avoid it? More 'Patrols' on the road will catch more offenders and get more unsafe vehicles and loads off the road.

    • Replies to PHILIP MCELHATTON>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Philip. DVSA regularly carries out joint work with other agencies including the police and DVLA. Our checks are not all at fixed locations. We have recently invested in mobile equipment to enable us to carry out robust enforcement checks at any location. We also use intelligence to identify possible unsafe vehicles and are able to do many checks from our access to the National ANPR Service (NAS), such as identifying whether a vehicle has a current MOT in place. Our intelligence process, using all the data available, and the mobile equipment, makes it more difficult for the most seriously and serially non complaint to avoid our checks.

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by PHILIP MCELHATTON posted on

        Thanks for your response!
        With my initial comment in mind, what should I do if I do see an unsafe load or a badly overloaded vehicle whilst travelling? Who do I call?
        As a Transport Manager with extensive driving experience, I know what I am looking at and any report made about a vehicle would definitely be worth a follow up.

  2. Comment by Alan MANNING posted on

    Excellent good to read

  3. Comment by Martin Kellett posted on

    Good effort to be using number plate recognition on untenable journeys for offenders. I wonder if the putting it out there method my deter operators from rule breaking. Or if they are not informed it may lead to better detection results? If they are fore warned they are fore armed? just a thought

    • Replies to Martin Kellett>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Martin. We publicise the work we do through blog posts and social media, for example, to keep people informed about actions we take. We prefer to deter people in the first place and work to change their behaviours and therefore encourage compliance.

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Martin Kellett posted on

        Yes thinking back on my comments you are correct that is the best way

  4. Comment by Ds Hart posted on

    It means fewer roadside checks, fewer staff.

    • Replies to Ds Hart>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi. It’s not clear which item in the blog post you’re referring to. Improved technology and operators joining the Earned Recognition scheme mean we can use our resources to target non-compliant operators more efficiently

  5. Comment by Wayne Thomas posted on

    Keeping the roads safe is a must.

  6. Comment by D Wright posted on

    When you see the state of some vehicles on the roads not just commercial but cars and motorbikes, I think it would be a good idea to randomly check everything and a lot more often.

  7. Comment by Norman Highnam posted on

    I have been advising the DVSA team about potential threat to life equipment which is being added to the trucks and trailer in the temperature controlled markets which is about 20% of the HGV sector. The inspection engineers need to be fully aware of all the items that they might need to inspect and touch etc.

    The diesel emissions from transport refrigeration units can exceed the emissions from the truck engine by 500x with no DPT type filtration systems. Under HSE legislation you must monitor exposure for staff to diesel emission and act in the levels exceed permitted levels.

    The transport refrigeration units will mostly use HFC - HFO gases these gases are one of the leading carriers of PFAS Chemicals (Forever chemicals) and as such people need to be aware and operate appropriately as these are also pressure vessels.

    Some operators are installing 3 phase 415v generators to the trucks units to power the transport refrigeration units on electric using a flexible power lead running with the suzie lines. If this is frayed or damaged then it has the potential kill. These cable have no inspection requirements and or included in any daily checks.

    Some transport refrigeration unit are now non diesel and operate with solar and battery packs. Some packs are c400v plus and some are 48v these packs are either under the trailers or installs in the transport refrigeration units themselves. Inspectors need to be aware of them and the potential issues with them and damage or inspections etc.

    If you are to inspect HGV equipment then the DVSA needs to fully understand the level of changes in equipment and the risks to inspectors and also the transport employees and the public.

    I would advise you do it now before we have a accident.

    • Replies to Norman Highnam>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Norman. I understand you are in the process of discussing these issues with DVSA colleagues. Thank you.

  8. Comment by Les Smith posted on

    I am a Health and Safety consultant who worked with the West Midlands Ambulance Service for 22 years H&S & Occ Hlth Manager . During that time the one element that was an on-going concern, was the continuing health screening for Drivers of our ambulances, particularly the mature drivers.
    Unfortunately through working with staff, I did discover medications , physical and mental health conditions, disabilities that led to removal from operational driving on blues. I always identified the continuing need to educate firstly but also enforce the awareness and requirement for drivers to report and the dangers of not doing so. This I again feel this should be considered with your new DVSA Vision, which is excellent. People do not report occasions as they know they could lose jobs and do take the continuing risk of driving with unacceptable conditions and medications. You obviously cover this element of risk, but I do feel increasing the requirements for Health Screening for employers, employees should be reinforced, educationally and a record keeping, process for audits. Obviously the DVLA, Police being the main enforcement, but I was fortunate to work with the drivers, conducted home visits, counselling and gained trust with individuals to identify restrictions for driving, and I did include this element in my training with drivers.
    Not sure how useful, I hope not problematic my comments are for the new standard, but as a risk I have had to manage many times, I thought it important to raise. Thank you so very much for allowing me to contribute.

    • Replies to Les Smith>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Les. We have advice in our National Standards about a driver's responsibility to ensure that they remain fit to drive -

      We also publish other advice such as:
      Check if a health condition affects your driving: Overview - GOV.UK (
      Voluntarily surrendering your driving licence - GOV.UK (
      Reapply for a driving licence following a medical condition: How to reapply - GOV.UK (

      And on our sister site - Safe Driving for Life
      Your driving health on the road (
      Your bus driving health on the road (
      Your motorcycle health on the road (

      I hope this shows the work being done to advise the public.

  9. Comment by James Tyrone Lawther posted on

    Great work is undertaken by the DVSA; effective enforcement of bad operators has been under the radar for too long. "

  10. Comment by Andrew Thomson posted on

    Hi , on reading it sounds great and can only hope the industry gets better and better. The majority of companies and Drivers work hard at being the best they can be. Only a few let the side down.
    However asking the public for their involvement is ludicrous. The standard of driving at car level is absolutely shocking. On a daily basis I see such poor driving from cut ups to people who are ill educated regarding pulling out on 44t trucks.. There needs to be an educational program for car drivers regarding trucks. I've had arguments with driving instructors who should know better. Even they say the roads are more dangerous than ever due to poor car driving.

  11. Comment by paul douglas posted on


  12. Comment by Christopher Morse posted on

    Reinvest Fines from DVSA back into a national road safety pot ( Pot holes, surface issues, signs, road markings.) Also able to invest that into more compliance equipment such as more Nas cameras, road wardens even. Local authorities could offer remuneration incentives to it's local transport firms to fit safety equipment if this money was not to go back into the general pot.

    Distribute the monies earned to local authorities with the highest road safety scores to give other authorities the push required to bring standards up, name and shame the worst counties, business's, roads.

    • Replies to Christopher Morse>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Christopher. Thank you for your comments. The fines we issue go into the Treasury and are distributed across all government funded activities.

  13. Comment by Andrew smith posted on

    Can we have more on brakes and tyres and the need for drivers to check them more thoroughly please. The drivers I see, in my opinion, could do more to understand the importance of these parts of a vehicle.

  14. Comment by Mike Ferguson posted on

    Wow I can't help thinking that all the fun and joy is rapidly being taken away from us drivers and it seems to me that although there are many pros and benefits to these proposals I think we need to explore the negatives as well and maybe it will show that if compromises will make for a safer all round outcome

  15. Comment by Phil posted on

    With the infringements that drivers get surely it’s best to encourage drivers to take breaks when necessary. The lay-bys that are a great source for a quick stop but with the amount of these lay-bys that are closed, coned off, or have items in them is not a great way forward. The continent has proper lay-bys so that they can get away, sit on a bench proper bins that are emptied regularly, toilets that are clean and usable
    More decent lay-bys for more rest breaks = less infringements

    • Replies to Phil>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Phil. Thank you for your comments. Drivers must make sure they get their legally required rest breaks. The Department for Transport is looking at proposals to improve facilities for lorry drivers.