The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched its flagship earned recognition scheme.
More than 60 HGV and PSV operators, which between them run more than 43,000 vehicles, have been taking part in a pilot of the scheme, which started last April.
The companies include high street retailers John Lewis, telecoms firm BT and the London bus operation of Arriva, along with a host of companies across all sectors and of all sizes, from operators with just one vehicle to those operating thousands.
These operators regularly share performance information with DVSA. In return, their vehicles are much less likely to be stopped for inspections, freeing up the agency’s examiners to target the most dangerous lorry, bus and coach operators and drivers.
The first haulage firm, Staples Vegetables and first bus firm, H Luckett & Co, to take part in the pilot got a special thank you as the full scheme was launched at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham.
DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. Earned recognition allows the best operators to go about their business unhindered, so we can target our activity at those most likely to be a danger to all road users.
“Even during the pilot, participating operators are already seeing the benefits. We’ve heard reports of improved relationships with drivers, better processes and recognition from customers. If you're an operator and you take compliance and safety seriously, we hope that earned recognition is something you’ll aspire to.”
David Wells, CEO, Freight Transport Association, said: “The introduction of earned recognition will give a welcome boost to compliant operators across the UK’s road fleet, enabling them to focus on keeping Britain trading both at home and internationally, without lengthy administrative delays.
“DVSA will now be able to target its valuable roadside enforcement teams at those who jeopardise all other road users, while rewarding those who have exemplary records.
"FTA’s members are committed to improving standards and see earned recognition as a key driver in accelerating compliance and driving up performance right across the logistics sector.”
Kevin Rooney and Sarah Bell, lead traffic commissioners for enforcement welcomed today’s announcement. They said: “We fully support the agency’s aim to recognise compliant operators and free up valuable roadside enforcement resource to target and tackle the most serious offenders.
"As commissioners, we’ve worked with DVSA to assist and inform the scheme’s development. This has run alongside our work to free up tribunal time to take swift action against the most dangerous operators and drivers.
“The scheme has encouraged the development of new compliance management tools available to all operators and transport managers, whether they seek accreditation or not. We’re confident this initiative will contribute to our shared aims of promoting road safety and fair competition.”