The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced changes to its operator compliance risk score (OCRS), dubbed the ‘traffic light’ system, which it uses to target its enforcement activities towards non-compliant operators.
Operators who achieve high OCRS scores have an increased chance of having their vehicles stopped by the DVSA. The scores are determined by prior roadworthiness and traffic violations. A banded traffic light-style system, consisting of red, amber and green, will be organised to identify operators with red to signify the highest risk and green to signify the most compliant. Any operators, for whom there is no available data, will be categorised as grey.
Following the initial launch of this initiative, feedback from operators and data from traffic and vehicle examiners resulted in some modifications from the DVSA, which will help them to concentrate its roadside enforcement on only those who are of the highest risk.
The main change that has come from this feedback is a new combined score for each operator, which is calculated by adding together the separate scores for roadworthiness and traffic enforcement, then dividing this number by the total number of events that resulted in the points. This total score will now determine which vehicles will be inspected by the DVSA.
A spokesperson for the DVSA commented: “Currently, OCRS points are added to the operator’s score for both a serious defect and a fixed penalty. This will be changed so that OCRS points will be added to the operator’s score only for the serious roadworthiness defect.”
An additional change to the system includes the removal of a ‘straight-to-red’ trigger, which previously would place operators straight into the highest risk red band, as a result of a prosecution or a ‘most serious infringement’ (MSI). Commenting on this, the DVSA said: “In the future, we’ll continue to issue operators with PCRS points for the most serious offences and prosecutions, but they won’t automatically be placed into the red band when this happens.”
The DVSA also announced a more lenient approach to compliant issues, issuing verbal warnings from examiners, unless a more serious problem is discovered which requires a prohibition or fixed penalty. Verbal warnings will now be recorded on the OCRS as a clear inspection. The final change to be made will be a reduction in the number of points applied for prosecution cases and ‘5-band offences’, which includes failure to record data on a tachograph. These points will be reduced from 500 to 300 – no other bands will be amended.
Head of intelligence at the DVSA, Phil Stokes, commented on the updates: “DVSA’s first priority is to protect the public from unsafe drivers and vehicles. The changes to the system will allow us to concentrate on targeting operators who pose the greatest risk to road safety. DVSA will take action against any driver or operator who fails to meet the roadworthiness standards and breaks the rules on drivers’ hours.”