The DVSA has been urged to delegate HGV testing to battle the mounting backlog of annual HGV tests due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the World.
The Authorised Testing Facility Operators Association (ATFOA) has warned that a backlog of annual HGV tests, mounting into the thousands since being suspended 23rd March 2020, must be tackled to prevent hardship to Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) operators and more importantly, ensure road safety.
At present, annual HGV tests are carried out by DVSA (Driving Vehicle Standards Agency) Vehicle Standard Assessors. These however, have all been stood down due to COVID-19 and the lockdown, which all HGV tests now being suspended for three months from 23rd March 2020.
The ATFOA is calling for the testing to be delegated to ATF operators, but using qualified testers. This would help clear the backlog as well as trialling the service that ATFOA has actually being lobbying for some time.
The ATFOA are also currently building their own database of ATFs that have qualified testers available on their premises.
ATFOA chairman Stephen Smith told Motor Transport, “We would like to see delegated testing implemented immediately employing independent ATFs working under the authority of DVSA.”
“ATFs already prepare HGVs for testing and for their six-weekly checks, which are to a standard higher than their annual test, so we can easily and competently start testing now.”
“The last thing we want is for DVSA to just push these tests back by three months as that will cause real hardship to our members, some of whom may not survive the three-month closure, which will result in reducing testing capacity further when the suspension is lifted”