LEGAL JOTTINGS: Updated DVSA enforcement sanctions policy

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Elliot Kenton advises on the changes in action the DVSA will take to most offences on the road

In February 2020, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) revised its enforcement sanctions policy. The document outlines the course of action to be taken when dealing with the majority of offences encountered by DVSA examiners at the roadside.

The changes include additional information regarding offence numbers for annex 1C smart tachograph, and the tachograph section being split between EU and International Road Transport (AETR) rules.


All road traffic and construction and use offences are laid down in the appropriate legislation and these form the basic standard for all DVSA’s enforcement activities. The policy itself is not a legal document and the courts will ultimately interpret relevant legislation. All infringements, regardless of severity, identified by examiners should be brought to the attention of the driver or operator.


In many cases, examiners will deal with offences found during roadside inspections by the issue of prohibition and/or fixed penalty notices requiring no further action.

In cases where the nature, number, or seriousness of the offence(s), indicates that there is systemic failure in the management of the operation, or abuse of regulations and/or the operator/driver is indulging in fraudulent activities, examiners will make appropriate investigations with the vehicle operator to obtain further evidence and report offenders to the Traffic Commissioner or, in fraudulent cases, for prosecution.

In cases that do contain elements of fraud or collusion in falsification, other lesser offences may be considered for inclusion in the prosecution case.

Details of when follow up action will be taken are contained within the policy document.


CDC has an exclusive relationship with Andrew Sanderson and Elliott Kenton at Fieldfisher LLP. Andrew and Elliott are experienced transport lawyers who primarily act for operators in connection with Public Inquiries and Preliminary Hearings before the Traffic Commissioners (TCs). They also have experience acting for drivers at Driver Conduct Hearings before the TCs. Andrew and Elliott offer a legal advice service, details of which can be found at

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