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Would you say the most serious problem among UK van fleets is a lack of qualified drivers with a van licence? That’s not the case, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). It says the biggest problem facing the industry is a lack of MOT compliance among fleet owners and operators.

DVSA Chief Executive Alastair Peoples addressed the recent Fleet Van Summit, telling the assembled crowd that concerns regarding van compliance have been increasing among government agencies for years. He warned of increased enforcement efforts, but stopped short of offering any concrete details.

“More than 50% of light goods vehicles (LGVs) fail their MOT,” he said, “compared to 18% for public service vehicles (PSVs) and 22% for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).”

Peoples went on to explain that roadside checks of LGVs result in nearly 90% of them failing the MOT. Of the remaining, a good percentage of them are still in poor mechanical condition. He maintains this is a genuine cause for concerns in terms of highway safety. Assuming the Government numbers is correct then it is hard to argue with Peoples’ assertions.

The obvious next question would be one of why fleet operators are ignoring the law. Is it too costly to maintain safe vehicles that will pass the MOT? Is it a matter of not complying because there are no worries of being caught? Is it a matter of not understanding the law? Alternatively, perhaps it is something the DVSA has not yet identified.

Peoples said the newly formed DVSA would be stepping up enforcement practices in an effort to achieve 100% compliance. He also said enforcement would be directed at the sectors where it is most needed, implying the agency intends to go after vans. Fleet operators should make every effort to be sure vehicles are in compliance before they are targeted.

Compliance and Safety

At the HGV Training Centre, we talk a lot about having the ‘safety first’ mindset. We believe there are few things as important as safety in the haulage and transport sectors. Nonetheless, safety goes above and beyond safe driving practices. It also includes making sure all vehicles are in good mechanical condition and in compliance with MOT regulations.

As a training organisation, we pride ourselves in offering our students industry-leading driver training. We can prepare students to earn a van licence for LGVs, or train them to drive HGVs, PSVs, and PCVs. We even offer training courses for forklift trucks and horseboxes.

All of our training is provided by experienced and certified professionals who know what it takes to ensure students learn and retain the necessary information. In fact, our students pass the PCVs theory test the first time at a rate of 92%. We do not waste time teaching students things they don’t need; we focus only on what is necessary to meet the requirements of the law. That includes safe driving practices and their responsibilities for vehicle compliance.

Sources:

Fleet News UK – https://www.commercialfleet.org/news/2014/10/9/dvsa-and-fta-target-safety-at-fleet-van-summit/53757/

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