VOSA targets the 'white van man'

Posted on: Wednesday, 27 March 2013 by Debbie Attwood

By Mark Cartwright, Head of Vans at FTA

'White van man' is of course a stereotype, but the general roadworthiness of vans is of serious concern, whatever the colour, and it's pretty obvious that things have to change.

VOSA's roadside enforcement experience is that targeting light goods vehicles in poor condition is easier than shooting fish in a barrel. MOT test results for Class 7s show that they are the worst, with half of them failing year after year.

This year the Department for Transport (DfT) is funding greater VOSA activity on light goods vehicle enforcement. VOSA enforcement staff will be using a variety of methods to identify the non-compliant and take enforcement sanctions. By working with its partner agencies, involved in road safety, the range of sanctions could see these vehicles at least being prohibited and possibly drivers and their employers being prosecuted through the criminal justice system.

VOSA has asked MOT garages to help by letting all light goods vehicle customers know that VOSA is stepping-up its efforts in the hunt for poorly maintained light goods vehicles. The Agency says: “With the range of techniques available to us there will shortly be no hiding place other than in a small cube in a scrap yard or in one of your repair bays”.

FTA believes that the simple fact that half of the vans presented for MOT is not acceptable. These statistics broadly translate into there being 1 million vans on the road each day that are not roadworthy. But even more damaging to the transport sector, it reinforces the view that the industry simply doesn't care. A major reason for our Van Excellence programme is to demonstrate that we do care and we do run vans safely and efficiently.

It's exactly why our accredited operators need to lead from the front and insist that their contractors and suppliers meet the standards.

It's why all operators should insist on their maintenance providers (whether direct or via the lease provider) are getting a 1st time pass on your vans.

It's why the use of truck-like maintenance regimes with pre-use defect checks and ‘duty of care’ inspections are vital and provide very real cost benefits by reducing VoR time.

This is an opportunity to demonstrate what ‘good’ looks like and that, as an industry, we are not part of the problem.

For more information on how FTA can help your van fleet stand apart from white van man, read about the Van Excellence scheme.
 

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