In August 2017 the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) launched a new campaign to reduce physical and verbal assaults against its staff.
The campaign seeks to highlight the increase in incidence of attacks on staff between April 2016 and March 2017. The 300 incidents reported represent a more than 50 % increase since the previous year. In some sites enforcement staff are trialling body worn cameras to capture evidence and discourage inappropriate behaviour.
The examples surveyed include; verbal abuse and death threats, damaging cars/offices, physical assaults, attempting to run DVSA enforcement cars off the road and failing drivers refusing to allow examiners to get out of the vehicles.
The DVSA is intending to highlight the important role their staff plays in helping to keep our roads safe and the fact that all employees have the right to come to work without the threat of abuse or violence.
The agency has therefore introduced new measures to discourage this type of behaviour which include:
- Forcing abusive drivers to use a different test centre for subsequent tests
- Forcing drivers to take future tests with additional supervisors
Those drivers who are physically abusive, who threaten examiners or refuse to allow examiners to leave the test vehicle will:
- Be reported to the police
- Face the strongest possible penalties
DVSA examiners who experience difficulties at the roadside, at operator sites or at testing centres will:
- Record any abuse from commercial drivers and operators as evidence for any investigation by traffic commissioner, which could result in professional driving and/or operator licences being suspended or revoked
- Serious incidents will be reported to the police
Our transport law specialists are on hand to assist both drivers and operators with any concerns regarding DVSA examiners and in respect of matters called for pubic inquiry before the traffic commissioner. For advice please call us on 01616 966 229.