Commercial vehicle drivers could be stopped by a Highways England Traffic Officer, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced.
Under a new agreement, DVSA and Highways England will work together to pull in in lorries, vans, buses and coaches on West Midlands motorways while sharing Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) data and other intelligence in real time.
The move will improve road safety and use public funds more effectively, says the DVSA.
Highways England will be using their marked vehicles to perform the stopping duties previously only performed by the widely recognised DVSA vehicles or the police.
Either organisation can now bring vehicles into check sites for DVSA examiners to check for issues such as drivers’ hours offences, mechanical defects, overloading and load security issues.
DVSA director of enforcement Marian Kitson said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.
“The main winner here is road safety. Working so closely with Highways England has been a great success, it makes perfect sense for those with similar skills, resources and goals to support each other in this way.
“This partnership means we have a wider network of stopper vehicles to hunt down that minority of rogue operators who put profit before safety.”
The announcement comes after a successful trial in the same area which saw the two Department for Transport organisations working together to improve road safety.
The partnership means that the DVSA can use its own workforce more effectively by utilising the additional service provided by Highways England.
Gina Lawrence Highways England project manager said: “We see this as enhancing the important work our traffic officers already do in dealing with incidents and helping to keep our roads moving.
“We have worked with DVSA to improve the efficiency of the vehicle check site which has supported our goal of improving commercial vehicle safety on the strategic road network.
“We are pleased this will now become business as usual in the West Midlands.”
DVSA has delegated its stopping warrant to Highways England for this partnership, and as a result, failure to stop for either a Highways England or DVSA vehicle could result in court action or attention from the Traffic Commissioner.