DVSA examiners given another roadside enforcement tool …..

August 16, 2018 10:10 am Published by

DVSA app


On 16th August 2018 DVSA circulated the following information…………….with some additional comment added by Truck UK

DVSA inspectors have started using an innovative new search ‘app’ in an effort to further reduce time wasted carrying out roadside checks on vehicles and drivers’ that are not likely to be knowingly non-compliant.

While the jury is still out for the vast majority of hauliers, with regard to just how cost effective becoming a member of the earner recognition scheme is, DVSA have now introduced yet another initiative to allegedly “reduce the burden of enforcement stops on compliant operators even further“.

Information at their fingertips

By scanning a vehicle’s registration number, or vehicle identification number (VIN), with their smartphone or tablet,  enforcement staff can now access the vehicle’s testing history and any previous mechanical or driver problems.

We are told that this will give DVSA staff more time to focus on catching the more dangerous, non-compliant drivers and vehicles, by cutting down on the time they spend looking at the vehicles and driver records of compliant operators.

DVSA estimate that the use of this new ‘app’ could save safe operators as much as 15-20 minutes at each enforcement stop, helping them get back on the road sooner.

What concerns Truck UK is that industry had already been assured by DVSA that OCRS (red, amber, green operators) and then of course investment in Earned Recognition (Blue operators?) had already significantly reduced the likelihood of unnecessary and costly roadside stops …………………..or have we missed something?

So what can they see?

The search ‘app’ is said to enable enforcement staff at the roadside to:

  • Access “useful” intelligence, including OCRS, test data, operator details, outstanding prohibition notices.
  • Access to Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) data.
  • Make an informed decision as to whether to examine the vehicle.
  • Target both domestic and foreign vehicles – access to road levy payment details.

We understood that all the above was already available within the ‘Stopper Cars’……………wasn’t it?

Here’s what it looks like

Here are some screenshots showing the new app’s interface.

Image 1

The above shows what a DVSA examiner will see when they first scan vehicle details into the ‘app’. It flags any issues with the vehicle, including the annual roadworthiness check (MOT) data.

Iamge 2

The second image shows enforcement history that the examiner at the roadside may find of use when deciding as to what enforcement action, if any, to take.

Image 3

The third image shows the extra information that an examiner can see, if he or she drills down further into the ‘app’for more detail.

DVSA have also stated that they may well provide access to the app to their driving test examiners in the future.

Earned recognition

Like us at Truck UK, you might be wondering how this all links in with the earned recognition scheme.

DVSA explain it as follows:  So, being on earned recognition doesn’t mean your vehicle won’t ever be pulled in – it’s just much less likely. It can happen if the vehicle is obviously dangerous or it can still happen as part of a random check.

If an earned recognition operator’s vehicle is pulled over at random, our staff will scan the vehicle with the app. Despite Earned Recognition being sold as a way of avoiding random checks……………

The app will then show that it belongs to an earned recognition operator’s vehicle and they’ll be sent on their way unless there’s an obvious problem with the vehicle or driver. If there was an obvious problem surely the check wouldn’t be random…..

It’ll all take much less time than it would have done before they had the app.


The DVSA ‘blog’ that was circulated regarding the new ‘app’ does not mention OCRS at all ………….

Conclusion from Truck UK

While any new initiative that is aimed at making it easier for the compliant operator and their professional drivers’ to complete each day without being pulled in to a DVSA roadside encounter must be seen as a positive step, surely it is not unreasonable to ask why is investment being put into something that in effect replicates data access that has been available already, rather than the focus of DVSA funding being ensuring that operators can access MOT slots where properly qualified DVSA Inspectors are available on the day………………………… there is still lots of evidence of tests being cancelled at the very last minute because the examiners are simply not available, or they haven’t yet been trained to the ‘minimum requirements’ of the test regime…..but they can issue prohibitions at the roadside…………. discuss.

Steve Williams of Truck UK