Candidates failing their driving tests and taking out frustrations on examiners has seen the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) launching a zero-tolerance approach to physical and verbal assaults against its staff.
Between April 2016 and March 2017, more than 300 driving examiners, vehicle testers and roadside enforcement staff fell victim to physical or verbal abuse, just for doing their jobs. This was a 50% increase on the previous year.
DVSA staff have suffered a range of abuse from verbal attacks and death threats to serious physical assaults and even lorry drivers trying to run enforcement cars off the road.
The new campaign aims to put a stop to the increasing abuse against its staff. It will highlight what will happen to people if they do abuse staff, show how being assaulted at works impacts members of staff and encourage workers to report any abuse so offenders can be rigorously dealt with.
The consequences for abusing DVSA staff at test centres will be as follows:
Learner drivers that swear at or verbally abuse staff will be forced to:
- Use a different test centre the next time they take a test
- Take future tests accompanied by an extra supervisor
Anyone that assaults or threatens examiners, damages DVSA property or drives off with an examiner still in the car will:
- Be reported to the police
- Face the strongest possible penalties