Information For New Operators: Part 2 - Who VOSA are and what they do?

As an operator licence holder (or someone thinking of applying for one) you need to get familiar with an organisation called VOSA, who they are, what they do, and how they affect you and your business.

Who are VOSA?
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency is the organisation responsible for the enforcement of Operator Licensing legislation within the UK they also deal with other related areas such as MOTs.

VOSA's role
VOSA is the government funded organisation that runs operator licensing in the UK. Their job is to ensure that HGV use on UK roads is regulated, controlled and that people operating outside these regulations are caught and prosecuted by the Traffic Commissioners.

They achieve this through the system of Operator Licensing. VOSA force HGV users to be compliant with operatorís licence law by carrying out mandatory roadside inspections, audits at company premises and the extensive system of operator licensing which in itself requires the operator licence holder to agree to a variety of undertakings when a licence is applied for. If the undertakings are not adhered to then the operatorís licence can be revoked and the licence holder can no longer legally operate the vehicles listed on that operatorís licence on public highways. Obviously, this could be a disaster for business.

What is a Mandatory Roadside Inspection?
VOSA work closely with the traffic police and can set up and run roadside inspection points anywhere in the UK. If (as you approach an inspection point) you are called in for an inspection then you have a legal requirement to stop. If you fail to stop you will be fined £5000 and could lose your license.

During an inspection, the VOSA officials will check things like the vehicle and driver tachograph records, documentation and also check the vehicle for certain defects. If they find tachograph infringements, vehicle defects or missing \ incorrect documentation then the driver faces hefty fines (payable at the roadside) and the incident will be recorded on the operator licence that the vehicle is listed on, this is very bad news for the operator licence holder for various reasons but we will cover this in more detail another time when we talk about OCRS. In the next article we will focus on VOSA site visits and audits.

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