DVSA’s Annual Review, which has just been published, contains some of DVSA’s aims and objectives for the future. These are:
Looking ahead: helping you through a lifetime of safe driving
On 4 June 2018 the law changed to allow learner drivers on motorways for the first time. They have to be accompanied by an approved driving instructor (ADI) in a car with dual-controls. They also have to be at a place in their learning where they’re skilful and confident enough to handle motorway driving.
A public consultation agreed that allowing learners to start practising motorway driving before they took their test would be a good thing for road safety. Over the coming year, we’ll be giving guidance to ADIs and their pupils, and helping other road users understand how to behave in sharing the motorways with learner drivers.
DVSA is also developing video clips which could replace some of the theory test questions. The new clips will mean less text for candidates to read, making the test more accessible. The video clips show road situations from different perspectives (like the driver’s point of view and from outside the car) potentially allowing us to ask different types of question. DVSA believes that using video will help to protect the test from the possibility of cheating or fraud.
Looking ahead: helping you keep your vehicle safe to drive
In May 2018 DVSA changed how they test cars, vans, motorcycles and light passenger vehicles. The main change was the introduction of three new defect categories – dangerous, major and minor. And we introduced stricter rules for diesel car emissions, redesigned the MOT certificate and changed the rules around some vehicles over 40 years not needing an MOT.
Over the coming year they are also going to widen their ‘Get an MOT reminder’ service to include heavy goods vehicles (HGV). So vehicle operators will also get an email or text reminder to take their vehicle to test, making sure it continues to be safe on the road.
Carrying out daily walkaround checks of large vehicles is a vital part of a making sure vehicles are safe to drive.
Drivers need to be able to identify and report any defects or signs of defects that could affect their vehicle’s safety.
DVSA will improve guidance for drivers on how to carry out these important safety checks. They will create new videos that show what to do, and publish better guidance on GOV.UK on what should be reported.
DVSA will be using social media to regularly remind drivers about the walkaround checks they need to do, highlighting the guidance that’s available to them.
Looking ahead: protecting you from unsafe drivers and vehicles
DVSA will be investing in behavioural research to look into why some large vehicle drivers take the risk of driving over their hours.
In 2016, driving while tired was a factor in 61 accidents involving lorries and buses. And almost a quarter of injuries caused by accidents involving lorries are fatal or serious (compared to 1 in 8 for crashes in general).
Despite the risks and the penalties, they are still finding large numbers of drivers who are willing to drive more hours than they legally should. When the reasons why drivers do this are understood, DVSA will plan a campaign to promote the importance of taking breaks.
DVSA use ANPR to identify, stop and check drivers and vehicles which may not be as safe as they should be. And, over the coming year, they will be working to improve the way ANPR is used to give access to a much bigger network.
DVSA will be combining resources with Highways England, the Home Office and the National Police Chiefs’ Council to develop the ANPR infrastructure. Together, they will enforce vehicle safety and environmental standards, making drivers safer on Britain’s roads.
To read the full Annual Review, CLICK HERE.