Safety Role of VOSA
In 2003, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) took over some of the work of the former Traffic Area Network of the Department of Transport and the Vehicle Inspectorate.
GoalsSince then, VOSA has had a number of goals. First of all, it aims to improve the standards of roadworthiness of vehicles. Secondly, it works to make sure that road operators and drivers comply with road traffic legislation. Finally, it supports the Traffic Commissioners. These are an independent group with a number of road safety and legal duties. VOSA supports these goals with a variety of testing, enforcement and licensing services.
VisionLike any government department, VOSA has a vision that sums up its functions. The vision states VOSA’s commitment to making sure that vehicles and drivers on UK roads are safe and secure. It also mentions VOSA’s strategy. This focuses on issues such as road safety, a better environment and a reduction in vehicle crime.
So how does VOSA put such ideals into effect?
AccidentsVOSA has a role in investigating motoring accidents. It looks at possible design and manufacturing problems, and brings government attention to any safety concerns.
RecallsWhen makers recall vehicles, VOSA monitors the safety aspects. In this way, the agency helps ensure that manufacturers comply with issues that affect motoring safety.
EnforcementVOSA often works with the Traffic Commissioners. It gives expert advice on bus registration, professional drivers, and the licensing of operators such as road hauliers. If the Traffic Commissioners believe it’s necessary to take legal steps against someone such as a road haulier, VOSA can support this action with relevant data.
The other enforcement role of the VOSA is to check compliance systems. These systems apply to such matters as load weights for lorries; the transportation of dangerous goods; and the hours that professional drivers work. VOSA has powers to make these checks at an operator’s premises and at the side of the road.