Vosa is to trial a Remote Enforcement Office (REO) for compliant operators, in a bid to throw more resources into targeting those who fail to reach the required standards.

The move, which involves replacing certain site visits with remote analysis of information sent in by operators, should help free up Vosa examiners and boost fairer competition in ensuring operators are not put at a competitive disadvantage by running a fully compliant fleet, as opposed to their non-compliant peers, said the agency.

At present, a Vosa examiner will be sent on a follow-up visit to an operator's premises after a variety of events including overload prohibitions, insecure load prohibitions and drivers' hours prohibitions. Where firms are selected for remote enforcement, this will be replaced by operators simply sending requested documents to the REO, where they will be reviewed and any necessary recommendations made, with follow-up action taken as needed.

“By introducing an efficient method for dealing with the more compliant operators, it will free up resources to concentrate on the serious/serially non-compliant operator," a Vosa spokesman told Motortransport.co.uk. "The more encounters a non-compliant operator has, the greater the cost to their operation, thus removing any competitive advantage to running a non-compliant operation.”

A six-month trial of the new scheme in the Western traffic area is expected to begin in October.

The REO will be run by existing Vosa staff, though exact staffing levels have not yet been confirmed. Those operators selected for the REO will be monitored continuously to ensure they remain compliant.