Peter Hearn, head of policy at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), has told van operators that “whilst many strive to improve compliance in the van sector there is still a long way to go.”
Hearn was speaking at The Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) Van Excellence Operational Briefings, which took place over two days last week and were attended by more than 450 delegates.
Attendees were told that the main issue is that many vans are used by traders in the same way as others use their own vehicle; servicing it once a year usually around the same time as the annual test despite covering considerable more miles.
Hearn also praised the FTA Van Excellence scheme, which he said had been “nurtured to improve the van situation.”
He said: “The van sector as a whole has lots of good practice, we need to work together to share this and make compliance the best value option for businesses. Educating drivers, for example to carry out a daily walk around check of their vehicles before use, is a simple task that can have a massive impact on road safety and save costly unplanned expenses at the roadside.”
Mark Cartwright, FTA’s head of van, added:“There is no doubt that everyone who attended the Van Excellence Briefings will have taken away some practical, informative and essential advice from operators, experts and enforcers who spoke at the events.
"The FTA Van Excellence scheme is an industry-led initiative that aims to enhance standards of van operator compliance; the number of people who have attended the briefings this week is indicative of how important compliance is considered, and illustrates how if we work together as an industry we can improve standards to achieve that.”