Anyone running fleet vehicles whether via an Operator’s licence or even the grey fleet cannot help but notice times are changing. Compliance and safety are now bigger considerations than they have ever been. Anyone wanting to tender for contracts has to show that they are compliant and that they have systems in place to demonstrate compliance.
The DVSA have been publicising for some time their new system to police compliance. They refer to this new system as Earned Recognition. No launch date has been given yet but it is clear that it will be implemented.
What it relates to is essentially allowing fleet operators to provide the DVSA with evidence that they are compliant and if an operator is able to do so then they are less likely to be stopped for roadside checks by DVSA examiners.
Most operators accept there is a cost to being stopped for a roadside check so if there is a way to minimise such stoppages then logically operators will take such steps. This is what DVSA are banking on. However the DVSA are not going to simply take an operators word for it that they are complaint. They will require evidence and rightly so.
That is where the push towards digital systems comes. A digital system allows an operator to grant the DVSA or whoever else it might be (I am thinking FORS) access to their data so they can demonstrate that they are indeed compliant and thus avoid the troublesome and expensive roadside pulls. It is no longer the case that such digital systems are expensive either. Our own system at CheckedSafe is only £1 per week per vehicle for as many checks as the user wishes to carry out.
By using a digital system operators can future proof themselves. Once the DVSA start using digital systems how long will it be before all those operators who are not digital are targeted. And how much longer before insurance premiums start to rise for those operators who chose not to keep up to date. They might be able to remain in business but at what cost? On this basis it must surely be in all operators interest to go paperless and go digital ( and I would hope go CheckedSafe)