Operators worried about regulation of road safety laws

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Operators are more worried about the authorities’ capabilities to meet new road safety laws than their own, according to members of the FTA.

The body made a submission to two Department for Transport consultations which propose to bring more vehicles under operator licensing and annual test laws.
In its responses FTA stated that members who operate vehicles which would be affected by the changes, which include electric vehicles and mobile cranes, were comfortable with the new requirements this would bring to them in terms of maintaining and inspecting vehicles or subjecting them to an annual roadworthiness test, but doubted DVSA’s ability to meet the increase in demand for tests and were concerned about being sent on a ‘paper chase’ by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner. 

 James Firth, FTA’s head of road freight and enforcement policy, said: “DfT estimates suggest that each proposal will bring another 40,000 vehicles into O-licensing and testing respectively - that is a 10 per cent increase in testing capacity needed in an already strained ATF network.” 

FTA has stated in the past that government should start to investigate the accreditation of non-DVSA employees to conduct the annual test to increase available capacity and deliver greater flexibility to customers. 
Firth continued: “FTA members who operate vehicles affected by the proposed O-licence changes are happy with putting these vehicles onto their licences, therefore impacting factors like proving a larger financial standing and applying the same inspection and maintenance regime – many already do this voluntarily as best practice. 

"What worries them is that when they have to apply for an increase in authorisation or a new operating centre, they are subjected to a forensic level of scrutiny of their operations by Traffic Commissioners, even when they have a good history of compliance.”


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