On the road

Sandra Brandon project communications campaign manager at the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency explains why van compliance is important

There are 3.25 million vans on our roads at present and public perception is low as to the compliance of these vehicles and you have to ask is this correct:

Well let’s see this is a list of faults being found at the side of the road by enforcement officers.

1. Tyres
2. Suspension
3. Brakes
4. Lights & Indicators
5. Transmission
6. Steering
7. Seatbelts
8. Exhaust

The major faults we find would all have been known to the driver had there been a walk around check done or possibly from the handling of the vehicle. In previous newsletters the statistics have been very clear as to the issues around van users on the road. Driver behaviour plays a major part in van compliance and with just a few simple steps you can improve your own.

For example three things that you can do right away to improve your compliance are:

• Look at your own procedures and encourage drivers to take responsibility for their vehicles.
• DVSA have produced a walk around check simply laid out and easy to understand, a staying legal guide, this give more formal and goes into much more detail.
• A basic guide that is designed to be carried in the cab of the vehicle

There is also YouTube videos that you can take a look at on what to carry out during a walk around check.

Just these few steps will help with the compliance of your van.

With input and support from key stakeholders, this is a useful reference point for people who use vans not only for business but also for private hire.

The guide includes an operator and driver checklist along with a diagram of a van walk around check.
The aim is to encourage a culture of compliance leading to a reduction in MOT failures and an improvement in the prohibition rate.

It’s well known in the motor trade that there is a high first time MOT failure rate for this type of vehicle. Many of the owners are running small to medium businesses and it must cause inconvenience, especially loss of income, while their vehicles are off the road.

These publications will increase awareness that a regularly serviced and well maintained vehicle will mean business is more efficient and the risk at having to let customers down because they can’t do the job is minimised.

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