More roadside checks to reduce the number of vehicles that are unroadworthy, drivers’ hours checks and on-the-spot fines are being considered. Hugh Edwards, VOSA’s product, strategy and policy director, said: ‘We want to be able to do more roadside checks to reduce the number that are not roadworthy.
‘You can usually tell when LCVs are overloaded just by looking at them but we hope that next year’s Road Safety Bill will give us powers to stop vans and carry out other checks.’
VOSA wants more on-the-spot fines for unroadworthy trucks and LCVs and their drivers when they work overlong hours. Making the keynote speech at the forum, Edwards said: ‘We already have 20 Ford Galaxys manned by staff with powers to stop heavy goods vehicles and impound them if necessary.
‘They can fine foreign users on the spot by credit card and we want fewer cases involving British drivers to have to go to court.
‘The Government recognises the increase in problems associated with light commercials and I am sure ministers will look at what more can be done.’
Use of technology would increase to catch non-compliant vehicles, Edwards said. The team is already using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras linked to a database to identify known offenders.
Edwards added: ‘Key aims of VOSA are to reduce the burden on compliant firms, emphasise education of users and establish scientifically-based benchmark standards.’