Abuse of DVSA staff increases by more than 50 per cent in a year. Why?

Body-worn cameras will be trialled by DVSA.

What is the matter with everyone? Have we all suddenly decided we’re entitled to treat other people like dirt?

Are we copying our government’s behaviour – for example, to the unemployed and disabled?

Or is there another, underlying reason?

The latest organisation revealed to have been hit by the abuse epidemic is the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, which employs driving examiners, vehicle testers and roadside enforcement staff.

Between April 2016 and March this year, more than 300 staff suffered physical or verbal abuse while doing their jobs – an increase of more than 50 per cent on the previous year.

According to the organisation, attacks on staff have included:

• verbal abuse and death threats;
• damaging staff cars and offices;
• serious physical assaults;
• lorry drivers trying to run DVSA enforcement cars off the road; and
• failed driving test candidates driving off with their examiner still in the car, against their will.

The DVSA is launching a campaign to stop the abuse, which it describes as “completely unacceptable”.

At driving test centres, learner drivers who swear at or verbally abuse staff will be forced to:

•use a different test centre the next time they take a test; and
•take future tests with an extra supervisor present.

Anyone who threatens or assaults examiners, drives off with an examiner still in the car, or damages DVSA property will:

•be reported to the police; and
•face the strongest possible penalties.

Although it is extremely rare, driving instructors sometimes try to influence the results of a driving test by harassing or threatening examiners. They face being:

•banned from specific driving test centres;
•removed from the approved driving instructor register.

At the roadside, at operator sites or authorised testing centres, DVSA will:

•record any abuse from commercial drivers and vehicle operators as evidence for any investigation by the traffic commissioners – they have the power to suspend or take away driving licences and operator licences; and
•report serious incidents to the police.

In some busy sites, enforcement staff are starting to trial body-worn cameras to capture evidence of abuse.


There’s no excuse for abuse against people who are simply trying to make our roads safer.

But is this campaign a good idea? Or does it go too far?

Your opinions are invited.

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5 thoughts on “Abuse of DVSA staff increases by more than 50 per cent in a year. Why?

  1. jaynel62

    Appalling. Interestingly Reginald Hunter on “Songs of the South” spoke of how when poverty is rife, racism soars, I suggest this may have a similar reason. No excuse but….?

      1. Claire Mckevitt

        It’s like a mad max society. There’s no empathy anymore. The majority of people are out for themselves and don’t care how their actions make others feel. They have a view that the world owes them anything and everything they want and have no respect for rules, law’s or anybody inforcing them.

  2. Barry Davies

    I think the Governments anti disabled sick incapacitated retired and unemployed stance shown so definitively with Cameron’s endless mantra “for hardworking people” which automatically showed anyone else isn’t worth bothering with certainly sidelined a large proportion of the population and turned people against them, add to that the vile benefit street factitious programs and it easy to see how this would occur, not a lot different to the Fascist propaganda programs really. It is divisive and unnecessary. However railing against those in office is something that has always happened it is human nature, the difference is that for some reason it is getting to be more vicious.

Comments are closed.