Walk Around Checks (drivers)

Walk Around Checks

Legal requirement: As a driver, you are legally responsible to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy; up to MOT standard at all times.

Enforcement: Whilst walk around checks are not a legal requirement per se, they provide the only means for you to check the above. Additionally, VOSA’s stated enforcement policy is that if a driver has performed a walk around check and a defect exists that would not be seen on a walk around check or has arisen since the check but not noticed by the driver, VOSA will not normally prosecute the driver. Thus, protection against points and fines is afforded. 

Evidence: A correctly completed record and the existence of 10 minutes other duties at the start of your shift is a good idea!

Nil Defects: It is best to keep a daily record, ticking “nil defects” where appropriate. Ensure that all boxes are ticked or marked N/A (e.g. fifth wheel on rigid vehicle). Ensure that any roadworthiness defects are recorded, rectified and signed off before use.

Advisories: Defects that do not affect roadworthiness and other advisory items should be recorded as such (the relevant box and the nil defect box still ticked). This provides further evidence that a walk around check too place and allows the operator to plan maintenance to rectify prior to deterioration.

Instructions: An excellent wall chart and video produced by VOSA is available free of charge detailing checks to make (you can download it here).

Penalties: Failure to perform walk around checks can lead to utilisation of unroadworthy vehicles, potentially resulting in fines and points for the driver and / or action against vocational driving licence (suspension or revocation), disciplinary action (including dismissal), prohibitions and delays, enforcement action against the operating licence (reduction of fleet, possibly loss of operating licence and with it your jobs). More importantly, it compromises road safety leading to damage to property or bodily injury – even death.

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