As reported in Commercial Motor a recent road safety operation in the Midlands found 24 vans with mechanical defects and the DVSA have said it will continue to target LCV drivers. The recent operation involved checks to vans by DVSA officers in Birmingham’s Wholesale Market. Of the 24 vans with defects 14 were found to be serious enough to prevent them from being driven until they were fixed., 10 were overweight and one HGV did not even have a tachograph fitted to ensure drivers’ hours compliance. One driver did not hold a valid driving licence or the required O-licence. Laura Great-Rex, DVSA head of enforcement delivery, said: “DVSA’s priority is protecting everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles. Many of the vehicles we found to have problems during this Birmingham operation had major mechanical defects or were dangerously overweight. We will always pursue van and lorry drivers who recklessly put the lives of other road users at risk.” An overloaded or unroadworthy van will put all road users at risk. There is simply no excuse for operating a van in this way. If a vehicle safety check had taken place none of the 24 vans found with defects by the DVSA in the Birmingham Wholesale Market operation would have been on the road. If you operate a fleet of vans the DVSA will continue to target LCV drivers so now is the time to get your act in order. A vehicle safety check app such as SmartCheck gives transport managers confidence that essential vehicle safety checks actually take place by recording the time, duration and location of the check. It records the results of the safety check and any defects can be reported in real-time and supported with pictures. It also provides a complete audit trail for the authorities to show that you take roadworthiness seriously and systems and processes in place. SmartCheck costs £5 per vehicle per month with no limit on the number of checks conducted. For operators of small fleets you can sign-up and save with pre-pay online to avoid having to pay small monthly bills, see SmartCheck Pre-pay.