Case Study - NAO: Keeping Unsafe Lorries and Coaches off the Road

Client: National Audit Office (NAO)
Sector: independent regulators
Services delivered: evaluation

HGV Accident

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) provides licensing, testing and enforcement services to goods vehicles, buses and coaches operating in Great Britain.

One of VOSA's main objectives is to improve road safety. Risk Solutions recently helped the NAO perform a VfM review of the agency's activities in this area, with particular responsibility for investigating the agency's risk-based approach to targeting its enforcement activities on HGVs, buses and coaches.

VOSA spends over £30m per year enforcing a wide variety of roadworthiness and traffic regulations on HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles) and PSVs (Public Service Vehicles) operating in Great Britain. The work involves inspecting vehicles and driver’s records at depots and at roadside checks around the country.

VOSA operates a risk-based inspection programme, informed by an Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS). This uses information about operators and their performance in previous inspections to identify those perceived to pose a higher risk to road safety. Vehicles operated by higher risk operators are then more likely to be 'pulled over' for roadside checks.

A key part of our work was to critically analyse the OCRS system to ensure that it uses all the available sources of intelligence in an appropriate way and that the risk scores it produces are a true reflection of road safety risk.

NAO's report was published in January and was very well received by the Public Accounts Committee. See below for links to the report and the transcript of evidence to the PAC: