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Direct powers for DVSA to improve road safety

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Proposed powers for DVSA to seize vehicles directly from unlicensed drivers have been welcomed by Licencecheck.

The measures, proposed in a Department for Transport consultation on ‘Motoring services strategy’, would allow staff to have the power to demand a licence is produced and seize a vehicle. 

Currently, when DVSA needs to prohibit a vehicle because the driver doesn't have the appropriate driver licence, the police must be contacted to take action.

Richard Brown, managing director of Licencecheck, said: “Cutting out a layer of policing for this common issue will mean a swifter resolution, ensuring drivers will not be on the road that do not have the correct licence entitlement.

“It’s clear that police resourcing is increasingly under pressure, and allowing the DVSA to take on responsibility themselves for this important licensing issue will make UK roads a safer place.”

Such a move would complement an initiative currently being implemented by the DVSA which allows it to focus resources on non-compliant operators through a recognition enforcement scheme, which helps the industry police itself. In order to highlight non-compliant serial offenders, larger operators will be encouraged to use Application Development Interfaces (APIs) to link their fleet management systems to various agencies to automatically exchange operational data demonstrating good practice.

“While these proposed changes are primarily driven by cost savings, they are certainly one way of addressing the unlicensed vocational driver issue. For larger goods vehicles and passenger vehicles, another positive action would be to make Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) and tacho card information available to operators as part of the driving licence check.”

In a recent survey by Licencecheck, there was universal support for detailed CPC data to be made available to operators as part of the driving licence checking process. “Ensuring that unlicensed drivers never leave a depot in the first place by making their licence entitlement and other qualification information available from a single source would seem to tick a number of consultation boxes,” added Brown.

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