Thursday March 22, 2018
For the road ahead

DVSA makes changes to the Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) system for vehicle operators


From today, DVSA is making changes to the Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) system it uses to help decide which vehicles should be stopped and inspected at the roadside.

The changes will enable DVSA to focus their enforcement activities on targeting those operators with the highest risk scores. 

DVSA is changing the OCRS by adding a new combined score to the system. This will combine an operator's roadworthiness and traffic scores and will appear in their OCRS reports.

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.

Vehicle and traffic examiners will use the new combined score to determine which vehicles to inspect.

The changes follow a review of the OCRS system through our complaints and enquiries service. Feedback was also taken from drivers and operators plus traffic and vehicle examiners to see how the system worked in practice.

DVSA Head of Intelligence, Phil Stokes, said:

"DVSA's first priority is to protect the public from unsafe drivers and vehicles. 

"The changes to the OCRS 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."

Freight Transport Association Head of Licensing Policy and Compliance Information, James Firth, said:

"HGV road safety enforcement is funded almost entirely by fees raised from the commercial vehicle industry, so FTA members who take their road safety responsibilities seriously want to see their money spent effectively, on operators more likely to be non-compliant.  

"OCRS helps DVSA focus its resources on the seriously non-compliant". 

Road Haulage Association Policy Director, Jack Semple, said: "We welcome the further refinement of DVSA's process for identifying HGV operators that are least likely to be complying with the law. 

"And we strongly recommend to all hauliers that they ensure they know what their OCRS rating score is."

Confederation of Passenger Transport UK Operations Director, Stephen Smith, said: "We welcome the changes to the OCRS system and look forward to an improved system."

Other changes include; if a driver is issued with a verbal warning during a roadside check, the operator's OCRS score will not be affected. Instead, this will now be shown on the operator's OCRS report as a clear inspection, unless the traffic examiner finds other offences and issues a prohibition or fixed penalty.

The ‘straight to red' trigger for a ‘most serious infringement' (MSI) or prosecution will also be dropped. If an operator is prosecuted or a MSI is recorded, consideration will be given to the operator's overall performance (annual test history, roadside encounter history and other prosecutions) and a decision will be taken on what future enforcement action will be taken.

The points given for prosecution cases and band 5 offences (for example, failing to record data on a tachograph) will also be lowered from 500 to 300 points. The points for other bands won't change. 

The OCRS guidance on GOV.UK has been updated to reflect the changes.



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