VOSA raises LCV safety concerns
25 June 2013
Author: James Dallas
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency has raised safety concerns over the migration of HGV operators to the far less stringently regulated LCV sector.
Peter Hearn, the Government agency's scheme management and external relations manager, pointed out that the first-time MoT failure rates for vans runs at 50% compared to just 5% for HGVs.
Hearn said for some light goods operators: "Maintenance is not part of their planning."
He claimed there were 13,000 reported accidents a year involving LCVs, double the number involving HGVs. He also said three quarters of vans were regularly overloaded.
Hearn said the Operator Licensing Scheme helped to keep HGVs legally compliant but admitted there was "no Government appetite" for regulation in the LCV sector.
He concluded that "self-regulation, such as Van Excellence, is needed".
VOSA plans to increase the number of media and educational events it runs to promote van safety as well as resorting to "the big stick" of enforcement, said Hearn.
Ian Marsh, VOSA's MoT technical innovations engineer, advised operators to check their vans everyday before taking to the road.
"They must be prepared to say 'this van is not going out today' and not 'we'll get it fixed next time'," he said.