The DVSA has introduced a new combined traffic and roadworthiness score to its OCRS system to help focus its roadside enforcement on operators that pose the greatest risk.
Examiners will now use the combined score to determine which vehicles to check, but operators will be able to view their individual roadworthiness and traffic scores online.
Under a series of changes made to the scoring system this week, it has also removed the ‘straight to red’ trigger, which automatically gave operators a red OCRS following a prosecution or the discovery of an infringement considered to be in its ‘most serious’ band, such as not using a tachograph.
Operators with a red OCRS are most likely to have their vehicles stopped by examiners.
Operators will still receive OCRS points for serious offences and prosecutions, but the DVSA will instead consider their overall compliance when determining whether to give it them a red score.
Changes also included removing the issue of OCRS points if a driver receives a verbal warning during a roadside check. Such warnings will instead appear on the haulier’s OCRS report as a clear inspection, unless a prohibition or fixed penalty notice is also given.
The DVSA also intends to prevent points from both a serious defect and the issue of a fixed penalty notice being added to an operator’s score together. Points will instead be given for the roadworthiness defect only.
The OCRS penalty for prosecutions and ‘band five’ offences, which include failing to record data on a tachograph, will also be lowered from 500 to 300 points.
The RHA’s director of policy, Jack Semple, said the association strongly recommended that all hauliers know what their OCRS score is, and welcomed the refinement of the DVSA’s process for identifying businesses that are least likely to be compliant.
The FTA’s head of licensing policy and compliance information, James Firth, said: "HGV road safety enforcement is funded almost entirely by fees raised from the commercial vehicle industry, so FTA members who take their road safety responsibilities seriously want to see their money spent effectively, on operators more likely to be non-compliant.”
DVSA’s head of intelligence, Phil Stokes, said: “DVSA will take action against any driver or operator who fails to meet the roadworthiness standards and breaks the rules on drivers’ hours.”
The DVSA earlier this year said operators taking part in its earned recognition scheme will be treated differently under its improved OCRS system. Earned recognition is expected to go live next year.