Member Advice Centre FAQs
Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions posed to our team at the Member Advice Centre. If you have any questions you would like to ask the team, call 0370 605 0000 or email email@example.com.
Does the DVA in Northern Ireland produce something like DVSA’s OCRS reports?
Within DVA, operators’ OCRS scores are computed solely based on enforcement compliance outcomes at the roadside. This serves to assist and inform enforcement officers to target vehicles used by operators who are more likely to offend. Scores are not available at present but are rather computed as a RED/AMBER/GREEN (RAG) status indicator via tablet devices.
Should an operator wish to find out their OCRS RAG status indicator they should email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting their operator licence number and requesting this information.
HIT THE STRAPS
What is the background and methodology for safe and secure carriage of IBCs (intermediate bulk carriers) please?
Two straps, or a suitable restraint system, must be used to prevent the external frame being damaged, or else an immediate prohibition would be issued. DVSA adopted this policy following feedback from the industry and Health and Safety Executive. Evidence produced indicated that one strap in the centre of the IBC caused crushing of the frame and the straps to work loose. Two straps placed towards the edges of the frame prevents this.
A suitable restraint system would depend on the type of vehicle being used, but any lashings/strappings would need to be appropriately load rated and secured properly to lashing points to prevent movement in line with DVSA’s load security guidance.
SCALING THE HEIGHTS
What is the correct format for displaying the height of a vehicle in a cab? We have been told it has to be in both imperial and metric?
Within the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 section 10 (Indication of overall travelling height) it states the following:
(2) No person shall use or cause or permit to be used on a road a vehicle to which this regulation applies if the overall travelling height exceeds 3.66m unless there is carried in the vehicle in the manner specified in paragraph (3) a notice clearly indicating in feet and inches and in figures not less than 40mm tall, the overall travelling height.
This would mean that although you can have the height indicated by both feet/inches and metres (imperial and metric) the travelling height only needs to be in imperial units of length.
One of our drivers was caught wearing a three-point seatbelt under their armpit by the depot manager. Is this an offence?
Regulation 47 of the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 defines a three-point belt as a seat belt which ‘restrains the upper and lower parts of the torso’. The seat belt should therefore be worn in accordance with these Regulations. Wearing a three-point belt under the armpit would be viewed as an offence as the upper part of the torso would not be restrained.
A TESTING ISSUE
We have had someone apply for a driving job with our company. The applicant passed their category C test three months ago. On checking the licence, it says, ‘C unclaimed test pass.’ What does this mean? Can they drive with this on their record?
An ‘unclaimed test pass’ is where the driver has passed in the category the claim is against but has not yet sent off the certificate for this to be added to their licence. This should be done as soon as possible after the test. The driver has two years to claim the entitlement. If this does not happen, then the entitlement will be lost, and the driver would have to retake their theory and practical tests for this entitlement.
If they have the test pass certificate, they can drive as evidence of pass, but it may be worth taking a photocopy of this when they claim their licence pass, so you have a record to show if stopped by enforcement.
Following a recent gate check I noticed that some of my vehicles are quite dirty and on occasions the number plates are obscured by the dirt. Would the drivers face any sanctions for this offence?
The driver would not receive penalty points on their driving licence for an obscured registration plate. However, the offence is covered by Section 43 of the Vehicles Excise and Registration Act 1994 and the DVSA Enforcement Sanctions Policy guidance refers to a driver receiving a financial penalty of £100 for this offence.
The drivers should check that the registration numbers on the vehicles are clearly visible as part of the vehicle walk round check and periodically during their working day. This should also include obligatory lights, mirrors, and glass.
We would like to park one of our operator licence vehicles at another company’s yard. The owner has supplied us with authorisation to park one of our vehicles on their site. Would this give us permission to operate from this centre without applying for our own operating centre or does it give us a grace period until we apply for one?
Unfortunately, this does not give permission for you to park and operate from that operating centre. You would have to apply to the Traffic Commissioner, through the VOL (Vehicle Operator Licensing) system to use that centre as an operating centre. An advertisement would also have to be put into the local paper. If the operating centre is in a different traffic area, then you would have to apply for an operator’s licence in that traffic area. The authorisation from the owner only gives permission to use their site.
A WEIGHTY ISSUE
Can a vehicle that has a maximum authorised mass of 32t enter an 18t weight limit if the vehicle is empty and weighs 12t unladen?
No, the weight limit relates to potential weight not actual vehicle weight. Where this type of sign is displayed, it means that no vehicle with a ‘gross vehicle weight’ exceeding the displayed weight should pass this point. (The Highway Code - Traffic signs - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). This means that it is an offence to enter these roads/areas with a vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight exceeding the weight displayed on the sign. It references the maximum a vehicle can weigh when loaded not the unladen weight of the vehicle.
If, as this picture denotes, has a sign saying ‘Except for loading’ then the driver MUST have a delivery or collection note for an address on that road/street to access this road.