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Did you know?

  • There are 7 main government bodies responsible for road safety.
  • It is an offence not to stop when asked to do so by the Police and drivers face an unlimited fine, community order or up to 6 months’ imprisonment and 3 – 9 penalty points or disqualification from driving.
  • DVSA officers wear yellow visibility jackets with either the VOSA or DVSA logo and always carry a DVSA warrant card.
The police and DVSA have the power to carry out spot checks on vehicles and issue prohibitions if necessary. When stopping vehicles, DVSA use marked cars. They can stop any vehicle on the road.

Drivers should be wary of bogus DVSA officers trying to stop vehicles on highways.

Under a new agreement, DVSA and Highways England now work together to pull in lorries, vans, buses, and coaches on West Midlands motorways while sharing Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) data and other intelligence in real time. This will help to improve road safety.

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Government bodies with responsibility for road safety:

The Home Office is responsible for setting priorities for police forces, reviewing charges and penalties for traffic offences, and for victims’ rights.

The Department for Transport is responsible for road safety policy in many areas of road safety, from producing guidance for local authorities (e.g. speed limits), to reviewing road safety legislation (e.g. banning hand-held mobile phones, or the drink-drive limit). It commissions research on road safety topics and runs national publicity campaigns.

Highways England is the executive agency responsible for operating, maintaining, and improving all motorways and major trunk roads in England. HE Traffic Officers are there to support road users and keep them safe. They cannot enforce traffic law but, when prompted, road users must comply with their instructions regarding safety.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is responsible for annual testing of vehicles and enforcement checks on the maintenance standards of lorries, buses and coaches, and their compliance with laws including drivers’ hours rules. It is also responsible for driving tests and promoting road use rules such as the Highway Code.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is an executive agency promoting road safety and general law enforcement by maintaining registers of drivers and vehicles, and it collects vehicle excise duty (tax).

Local authorities are responsible for local roads that are not motorways or major trunk roads.

Traffic Commissioners are regionally appointed officials with responsibility for licensing companies to operate lorries, buses, and coaches. Traffic commissioners have powers to issue and take away an operator’s licence.

This information sheet is free for employers to download and distribute to their drivers.
It may not be amended in any way | Copyright 2021 National Highways.