DVSA’s updated guidance ensures thorough vehicle safety checks

vehicle safety checks

If you read our last blog ‘DVSA annual test data: regular checks reduce fail rates‘, you will understand the importance of the daily walkaround of vehicle safety checks for maintaining the health of your heavy-duty vehicles. The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has recently updated their guidance on heavy goods vehicle (HGV) daily walkaround checks to make them more accessible and easier to understand.

As the driver of a HGV, it is your responsibility to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive. It is recommended that you carry out a walkaround check of the vehicle before you begin any journey. If the vehicle has a new driver within the same day, the next driver should also carry out their own walkaround checks before beginning the next journey.

You should make sure you are familiar with the individual responsible for sorting vehicle defects within your organisation. It is important to report any defects found to this individual, and make sure they are fixed before beginning a journey. If dangerous defects are discovered during a journey, these should also be reported immediately, when you are in a safe place to do so, and rectified before continuing on. “This could mean the vehicle needs to be repaired at the roadside or recovered to a workshop to make it safe to drive”, explains Dave Wood, Enforcement Policy Manager at DVSA. Fines and even prison sentences can be issued for knowingly using a HGV in a dangerous condition.

The updated guidance is more accessible than previous editions as it features written guidance, an instructional video, a walkaround diagram and a downloadable defect report form, all in one handy location. All elements of the vehicle which should be visually inspected by the driver daily are clearly detailed within the report, as well as clear instructions on how to record and report findings.

With the percentage of people accessing the walkaround guide via a mobile device having tripled in the last five years, this has been another consideration for DVSA, and they have created the latest updated with this in mind.

Wood explains, “The guidance also more clearly reflects what our Vehicle Examiners look for during roadside checks”. You may be stopped at any time by either the police or DVSA officers for these roadside checks and asked to produce your walkaround report.  If defects are found at roadside checks you could be required to cease driving until problems are fixed, or you may be issued with a fine. Therefore, the new guidance ensures all bases are covered and drivers can feel more confident in their compliance with vehicle safety checks and their regulations.

So, make sure you are keeping yourself and other road users safe by familiarising yourself with the updated guidance.

The latest guidance can be found here.



Wood, D. (2019). Helping you carry out effective daily walkaround checks [Moving On]. https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/2019/09/20/helping-you-carry-out-effective-daily-walkaround-checks/


gov.uk. (2019). Carry out heavy goods vehicle (HGV) daily walkaround checks. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/carry-out-daily-heavy-goods-vehicle-hgv-walkaround-checks. [Accessed 19 November 2019]