Roadside vehicle checks for commercial drivers

3. Roadside prohibitions

You could be given a prohibition by a police officer or an officer from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). You could either get an immediate or delayed prohibition, depending on how dangerous your vehicle is before the faults are fixed.

Immediate prohibition

It’s likely your vehicle will be immobilised and you won’t be able to drive it if you get a prohibition that comes into effect immediately. You could also be prosecuted.

Delayed prohibition

If you get a prohibition with a delayed effect, you’ll be able to drive your vehicle away and the operator will have up to 10 days to get it fixed. It will then need to be reinspected and the prohibition removed before it can be used on the road again.

Types of prohibition

Make sure you give the prohibition notice to the vehicle operator and owner. They’ll find details of how to clear it on the back.

Overload prohibition notice

If your vehicle is overloaded then you will be issued with an immediate prohibition notice and your vehicle may be immobilised. Examiners can also direct the vehicle to somewhere nearby, where the load can be redistributed or removed.

A copy of the notice is sent to the owner or operator of the vehicle.

Roadworthiness prohibition (PG9)

This is given for mechanical problems or for the condition of a vehicle’s bodywork and equipment. It could have an immediate or delayed effect depending on how severe the defect is.

DVSA has published a list of defects explaining whether immediate or delayed prohibitions are issued.

‘S’ marked roadworthiness prohibition

This is given when the examiner believes a severe defect is due to significant breakdown in the vehicle’s maintenance procedures.

You wouldn’t get this type of prohibition for defects you can’t have known about before your journey, eg:

  • a problem that could have occurred during the journey
  • a problem you couldn’t reasonably have been expected to have noticed (eg an underside defect)

You could get an ‘S’ marked prohibition if the examiner believes there’s been a significant breakdown in the maintenance procedures agreed as part of the operator’s licence.

The prohibition can start immediately and you or the operator could be prosecuted. DVSA will follow up with an assessment of the operator’s maintenance procedures.

Variation of roadworthiness prohibition

You could get this if an immediate problem with your vehicle has been temporarily or permanently fixed at the roadside but others remain.

It means you can return to your operating centre or garage to permanently repair the initial problem and other faults.

You might get a different type of prohibition notice.

Example
The examiner would give you an immediate prohibition notice if a damaged vehicle wing is in danger of falling off a vehicle and is a potential road safety hazard. However, they might be satisfied if you can temporarily secure the wing back in place.

The examiner can then give you a ‘variation of roadworthiness prohibition’ - changing an immediate notice to a delayed one.

Drivers’ hours prohibition

You get this if you haven’t followed the rules for drivers’ hours and tachographs.

You’ll usually get a fine - but you could also be prosecuted or have your vehicle immobilised.

Hazchem prohibition

This is given when a problem with carrying dangerous goods is found. Fixing the problem is usually enough to get the prohibition lifted.