There are two agencies responsible for handling complaints about issues with drivers and vehicle operators on the road: DVSA and police.
What to report to DVSA
If it’s a lorry, bus, coach or company vehicle, you can report them if they are breaking safety rules.
Dangerous driving doesn’t just include abusing the rules of the road, it also includes using emission cheat devices, carrying dangerous or hazardous goods without permission or with incorrect placarding, driving an unsafe vehicle (i.e. one that isn’t roadworthy), driving without the correct operator licence and driving an excessively smoky vehicle. Note: you can report a smoky vehicle here and you can report use of red diesel on the road using this page.
Drivers of heavy vehicles such as lorries and buses also have to abide by drivers’ hours rules so help reduce the impact of fatigue and adhere to safe loading practices so that vehicles are not overloaded (overloading increases the risk of rollovers, brake fade and tyre blowouts, as well as exponentially increasing wear and tear on roads and endangering bridges).
You can report any of these problems by contacting DVSA. Your complaint can be about the driver or the company that is running the vehicle (i.e. the vehicle operator).
DVSA wants to know:
- Who is involved: you can supply the number plate, driver name, company name, etc
- What the driver or company is doing: how are they breaking the law
- Where the offence is taking place
- When the offence is taking place
You can request anonymity when you give the information; DVSA won’t ask for your name or contact details, your call won’t be traced, you won’t be called as a witness or forced to make a statement and you won’t have to appear in court. However, you should be aware that a driver or company may be able to identify you as the complainant. For example, if you have an altercation with a bus driver and you are wearing a uniform from a local business.
However, if you do give your contact details, DVSA might contact you for more information and you could be asked to provide a statement or appear in court and act as a witness.
What to report to police
If you see a vehicle being driven dangerously or otherwise breaking the road rules, you report this directly to the police, not DVSA.
What should you do after you’ve given the information to DVSA or the police?
- Don’t tell anyone you’ve given the information.
- Don’t try to get information about any person or company that you’ve reported – you may raise suspicion about yourself
- Don’t encourage someone to commit a crime in order for you to collect evidence.
You can request that DVSA updates you when any criminal proceedings or investigation has ended; this could take some time and DVSA can’t give feedback on ongoing cases.