New agency for maintaining vehicle standards
A new agency has been launched responsible for maintaining vehicle standards namely the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA). This agency replaces the ‘DSA’ the Driver Standards Agency and the ‘VOSA’ the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. The DSA is responsible for road safety by setting standards for driving and motorcycling plus it is also responsible for the education and training of drivers and riders. The agency also carries out driving and riding tests. The VOSA is responsible for licensing, testing and enforcement services with the aim of improving the roadworthiness standards of vehicles, ensuring the compliance of operators and drivers with road traffic legislation, and supporting the independent Traffic Commissioners.
The new agency employs approximately four thousand six hundred people and is responsible for setting, testing and enforcing driver and vehicle standards in Great Britain. Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said “in June the department announced that DSA and VOSA would merge to form a new agency. This decision was made following the motoring services strategy consultation, and is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to put customers and businesses at the heart of its services. The two organisations have a history of working closely together and the merger is an opportunity for the DVSA to provide even better and more efficient customer service to motorists and commercial operators. I fully support the new agency and look forward to seeing the DVSA take shape from April 2014.”
The new Agency will be formally launched in April 2014; there will be a gradual introduction with no change to the level or quality of services during the transition period. There will be new branding when both the services merge. The DVSA will have a broad range of responsibilities, including processing applications for licences to operate lorries and buses, operating testing schemes for all vehicles, and enforcing the law on vehicles to ensure that they comply with legal standards and regulations. The agency will also enforce drivers’ hours and licensing requirements, provide training and advice for commercial operators, investigate vehicle accidents, defects and recalls, and run tests for instructors of large goods vehicles, as well as driver trainers.
To ensure costs are kept as low as possible there will be a phased approach to the introduction of the new branding over the next financial year, where items will be replaced when stocks run out.