Plans to improve road safety and access to digital services for fleets have been welcomed by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).
The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have both published strategy documents setting out their objectives for the next few years.
The DVLA says it wants to focus on delivering “best-in-class customer services” to fleets as part of its three-year plan.
It says it recognises that the business needs of corporate customers are often different and more complex than those of ordinary motorists. It also notes that they use its services more frequently and often handle large volumes of transactions. As a result, it will look at introducing digital processes for commercial users to access its services, especially in relation to the processing of bulk transactions for fleet companies.
Meanwhile, the DVSA’s five-year plan focuses on raising vehicle and operator standards, and allowing the agency to become a digitally-enabled organisation.
Jay Parmar, director of policy and membership at the BVRLA, said: “This is a positive development as the BVRLA has been consistently calling on Government to think about fleet companies as well as private motorists.
“It is particularly pleasing to see the DVLA’s strategic plan pledge to look at introducing digital processes for commercial users to access DVLA services, especially in relation to the processing of bulk transactions for fleet companies, delivering greater efficiencies.”
However, Parmar added: “We are concerned that neither agency seems focused on working with the other. All motorists would welcome greater collaboration for a one-stop-motoring service.”
The DVLA plan focuses on five main themes: providing best-in-class services, building dynamic technology and services, being a hub for digital motoring, creating a modern workplace, and providing “unrivalled” safety, security and compliance.
In terms of medical services, its role is to ensure that all medical notifications are investigated to ensure that only those who can meet the minimum medical standards for driving are able to obtain or retain a licence.
The DVLA has already made a number of improvements, including a new online service where drivers can tell the agency about their medical conditions. However, it has vowed to work with key stakeholders from the commercial motoring industry, charities and health providers to identify improvements and speed up its medical licensing processes. That includes increasing the number of medical conditions which can be reported online from two to 150.
Parmar continued: “Equally, we are delighted that the DVSA has made commitments to enhance road safety, the user experience and value for money.
“We look forward to working with the agency as it focuses its resources, and we believe the planned Earned Recognition scheme will enable operators who are committed to high standards to operate more freely, and it creates the right environment for DVSA to target non-compliance more effectively.”
More enforcement of dangerous vehicles and drivers, and enhanced MOT tests are at the heart of DVSA’s plans for the next five years.
The strategy aims to help DVSA to make sure services like MOT testing can adjust to new vehicle technology, such as driverless cars. It also acknowledges that driver training and testing will need to keep up with the kind of technology new drivers will be using.
Road safety minister Andrew Jones said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking at ways of making them safer.
“DVSA’s five-year strategy will help keep motorists safe, reducing pressure on the NHS and emergency services, keep traffic moving and keep our economy growing.”
Oliver Morley, DVLA chief executive, said the agency’s goal was to get the right drivers and vehicles taxed on the road as simply, safely and efficiently as possible. “Our focus is to provide best-in-class customer service,” he said.