Thursday 18 April 2019

DVSA outlines updates to annual test regime

The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has published final versions of its new HGV and PSV inspection manuals, which contain the standards and procedures followed by its staff when carrying out annual roadworthiness tests.

The new manuals, which come into force from 20 May, incorporate changes mandated by the new EU roadworthiness directive (2014/45). Operators can download electronic versions of the new manuals for HGV and PSV at the DVSA website, and also view tables detailing the exact areas in which changes have been made.

New items to be covered by the annual test will include emissions tampering, which has proven a hot topic recently after the announcement in January that 1 in 12 lorries inspected by the agency were fitted with emissions cheat devices.

The updated annual test will also include the inspection of the engine malfunction indicator lamp, reversing lights, daytime running lights and front fog lights.

In contrast to the current system, from 20 May defects will be categorised as dangerous, major or minor.

“The most serious defects are recorded as ‘dangerous’ and will be listed as such on the fail documentation,” said DVSA head of vehicle testing policy Gordon Thomson, in a blog post explaining some of the changes.

“We’ll still be issuing prohibitions for very dangerous defects observed at test that have an imminent impact on road safety.

“The inspection manuals provide details of which defects will attract the issue of a prohibition notice.”

He continued: “Defects that are failure items but aren’t deemed as ‘dangerous’ are categorised as ‘major’ defects.

“The other new category is ‘minor’. This is where there’s a defect on the vehicle but it isn’t considered serious enough for the vehicle to fail.”

Gordon Thomson also used the blog post to remind operators that certain categories of heavy vehicles will lose their plating and testing exemption from 20 May. A phased approach to testing some of these vehicle types will be implemented over the next 12 months, depending on vehicle excise duty renewal dates.

The full blog can be read here.

Image DVSA Crown copyright.

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