It is now some six years since VOSAs operator compliance score was introduced. The changes which come into place at the end of April will mean that those who have avoided being called over for roadside checks may find that this is no longer the case.
The previous system operated on the basis of predictive scoring, so the more contact that an operator had with VOSA, the more likely he was to have one of his vehicles pulled over by VOSA for a roadside check. This meant that there were many operators who, due to not having received many PG9s or having had a good test record, avoided roadside checks. With effect from 30 April 2012, VOSA will introduce a fourth category to its system of red, amber and green. The grey banding will be for those operators for whom VOSA have no score. The bad news for these operators is that those rated as part of the grey fleet, are VOSA’s second priority after targeting those with red banding.
A conviction will trigger an operator’s status to change to red, whatever their underlying score. The banding will stay at red for a 12 month period, after which it will revert to its previous status. The recent changes to operator licensing brought in seven most serious infringements, on which I have previously commented. If, as a result of a roadside inspection, an operator receives a prohibition for one of these, then their score will be moved to red for 6 months. If you are facing a prosecution then it is worth seeking qualified legal advice at the earliest opportunity, as in addition to raising your operator compliance status, you may be receiving an invitation to attend before the Traffic Commissioner.