Commercial drivers, for example, BT or Royal Mail fleet drivers might be asked to stop by the police or a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) officer. They can stop vans, lorries, buses and coaches.
The police and DVSA have the power to carry out spot checks on any commercial vehicle, whether it be a heavy goods vehicle or a public service vehicle vehicle; and issue prohibitions which prevents the driving of the vehicle in the event a fault is found, until the problem with the vehicle is fixed.
Police and DVSA officers can also issue fixed penalties in the event an offence is committed. Some of these are graduated depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the offence.
Drivers have duties to perform in order to ensure the safety of their vehicles, prior to every journey undertaken.
This consists of a walk around check of the vehicle before the journey and checks include both the interior as well as exterior of the vehicle e.g.
In doing so, a record must be kept as a log, and available for inspection at any time, and so it must therefore be kept with the vehicle.
What The Log Must Show:
DVSA can ask for a record of your walk around check at a roadside check.
Accordingly and to satisfy the DVSA, BT Openreach has introduced a new procedure in place of the existing practice of the recording of vehicle defects undertaken by engineers using a paper based vehicle log sheet detailed in the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Handbook.
The new reporting system, the Daily Vehicle Check and Defect App was trialled in October and the results of that trial were shared with the CWU.
Dave Jukes, CWU Assistant Secretary for BT Health & Safety, advised BT Branches in a letter (LTB650/19) of the following:
“The company has agreed that the trial of the app should be voluntary and that Openreach senior operational managers will make a statement on the app’s use during the trial. The Union’s team has agreed to also put communications out encouraging members to use the app on the basis the recording of vehicle defects is a legal requirement.”
He reminded all Openreach vehicle drivers that,
“The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) require the vehicle check and defect report books to be held in the cabs of HGVs and shown to DVSA officers if requested. Drivers need to carry out a walk around check of the vehicle before a journey to make sure it is safe.”
The letter to CWU branches consisted of two attachments, one showing the current and new systems, and the other showed the trial results so far. Both can be downloaded from CWU's website or can be obtained from your Safety REp of Branch Office.
Dave promised that further updates on the trial will be given in the near future.
Source: CWU / DVSA