DVSA Operation Targets Van Drivers
DVSA has recently concluded an Operation in Birmingham which targeted vans and other LCVs, resulting in 24 drivers being investigated for prosecution where mechanical defects and other compliance issues have been found.
Van drivers have come under fire in the press and continue to have a bad reputation because of the minority of drivers who fail to observe the rules. During the DVSA Operation, it was found that 14 of the vehicles had serious critical mechanical defects and 10 were overloaded. Our solicitor Laura Newton has previously voiced concerns over the risk of overloading in vans, as many drivers are unaware of how to assess what they are lawfully able to carry. Read that article here.
DVSA has advised that there will be a continued focus on these vehicles given the results of the Operation.
There has previously been a call for such vehicles, over 2.5 tonnes, to be regulated in the same way that a HGV over 3.5 tonnes is. This would include specific Licencing permissions, limiting the number of hours which can be driven, regular maintenance and frequent training for the drivers.
As a van driver, how can you make sure that you do not fall foul of the law and find yourself before the Courts?
- Know your speed limits – A different national speed limit applies for vans than for cars on single and dual carriageways. Speeding is a minimum 3 points and can result in disqualification from driving.
- Weigh your vehicle and your load – Take the van to a weighbridge and calculate the difference to the gross permitted weight. Make sure that any load is within that limit and that the load is spread across the axle. Fines for overloading can be very expensive and increase by each % of the overloading.
- Maintain your vehicle – If your vehicle is doing a heavy mileage you may consider a service more regularly than the annual pre MOT. In particular, tyres should be checked for a minimum tread. If your vehicle has a defective tyre, there is a minimum of 3 penalty points per tyre.
- Get an effective hands free system or preferably put your phone in the glove compartment. Touching your phone to access any function is enough to attract 6 penalty points. If you are distracted by your phone this can lead to prosecution for careless or dangerous driving.
If you have any queries about van compliance or you face prosecution for a motoring offence – call our team today 01332 987420