Our thanks to specialist transport solicitors, Backhouse Jones, for their article this week relating to the revised and updated guide from the DVSA, titled ‘Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness’. There are important changes here so stay ahead of the game and make sure your business remains compliant.

The key changes include:
Safety Inspection Intervals – the graph (previously included at Annex 4 of the Guide), which was used to calculate safety inspection intervals has been removed. It was felt that this was too rigid and didn’t encourage basing safety inspection intervals on real life. The updated Guide instead includes a table, with examples of time-based frequency for various operating conditions using case studies, which is intended to encourage operators to take a proactive, evidence-based approach to the management of safety inspection intervals.

Safety Inspection and Repair Facilities – this section has been updated to highlight that operators must ensure that safety inspection facilities need to be adequate for the job, even if inspections are contracted out. It is also strongly recommended that workshops and technicians demonstrate their competence by achieving a recognised accreditation.

Safety Inspection Records – the example safety inspection report (included at Annex 4 of the Guide) has been updated to include brake temperatures and an amended report sign-off.

Tyre Management – tyre defects are some of the most common defects identified by enforcement agencies. The Guide now includes a section highlighting important aspects of tyre management, including monitoring tyre age, together with a link to a detailed tyre management guide produced by the road haulage and tyre industries.

Brake Testing – it is strongly advised that a laden roller brake test is carried out at every safety inspection. The Guide now includes details of how to use an Electronic Braking

Performance Monitoring System (“EBPMS”) and has more comprehensive advice on brake testing. If a road test is being used to assess the brakes, the Guide now recommends that brake temperature readings should be measured and recorded on the safety inspection report.

Drivers’ Daily Defect Reporting – the example daily defect report (included at Annex 3 of the Guide) has been updated to include vehicle height and AdBlue system checks.
Emissions and Air Quality – the Guide includes a new section on exhaust emissions, which highlights the importance of correctly maintaining the vehicle’s emissions control system.
Vehicle Operator Licensing (“VOL”) – the Guide includes advice for using VOL for maintenance updates.

Monitoring – this section of the Guide now includes details about the Earned Recognition Scheme, changes brought about by the EU Roadworthiness Directive and prohibition assessment criteria.

Other Guidance – the DVSA has issued guides for IT for Vehicle Maintenance Systems and for EBPMS since the Guide was last updated in 2014. The Guide now incorporates the information from these other guides so that it can all be easily accessed in one location.

Please see https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/looking-after-your-vehicles and contact a member of Backhouse Jones regulatory team on 01254 828300 if you would like further information or advice.