DVSA to enforce ‘historic’ offences

Fixed penalties issued at the roadside for historical offences, such as drivers hours’, are to be actively enforced from March.

New powers for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to issue fixed penalties for offences detected at the roadside, that have taken place in the last 28 days, come into force on 1 February, with DVSA actively enforcing the new rules from 5 March.

Most UK operators will see little change. The parameters for which DVSA will issue historical fixed penalties are the same as those currently applied to mounting a prosecution.

However, the new powers will offer DVSA more effective enforcement to take action against non-UK operators, against whom mounting a prosecution has been impractical in the past.

The powers – originally subject to consultation by the Department for Transport in 2014 – have been subject to numerous delays in their introduction, even as late as their passage through parliament last autumn.

The reason for the delay between the coming into force of the powers and commencement of active enforcement in March is that any historical offences must have taken place after the powers were granted in law.