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The importance of being accurate

December, 1 2004

Other News

Maintaining accurate driver and vehicle records is a key purpose of DVLA. The Agency holds around 40 million driver records and 31 million vehicle records and their effective stewardship and maintenance is a critical mechanism for supporting DVLA aims and objectives.

These records are used to support law enforcement and track down road tax evaders, owners of abandoned vehicles and those involved in vehicle theft and related crimes. DVLA's Accuracy Programme is managing a number of initiatives to improve the accuracy of the driver and vehicle database. Work has continued on building effective relationships with stakeholders and partners to encourage key organisations to help deliver the accuracy message. Accuracy is an industry-wide problem facing DVLA, police and trade organisations. Improving the accuracy of the DVLA database is essential and has industry wide benefits.

The general public need to be aware of the importance of accurate information, and how non-compliance can have an impact on their local community, for example police resources spent tracing rightful owners when resources could be more efficiently allocated elsewhere. Many initiatives have taken place with the police including a forthcoming radio campaign and pilot exercises with Northamptonshire Police and Transport for London. These have been introduced to provide DVLA with up-to-date information when incorrect driver and vehicle details are identified during their enquiries and aims to improve the accuracy of the driver and vehicle database.

A publicity campaign is being taken forward to encourage all UK motorists to update their driving licence and vehicle registration documents/certificates when their personal details change. Progress so far has included issuing joint press releases with Vehicle and Operator Services Agency highlighting the annual safety recall figures and warning motorists of the need to update their details. DVLA's records are used by vehicle manufacturers to notify customers if their vehicle needs to be recalled and to contact relatives in the event of an accident.

Other initiatives include specialist media coverage being included in property magazines and motoring features such as "Autotrader online" and "Exchange and Mart online". As well as being a legal requirement, failure to notify DVLA of changes to personal details could result in a £1000 fine.

A data cleansing exercise has been conducted to improve the quality of address information that DVLA holds on its databases. This has an obvious benefit to our stakeholders such as the police in their day to day activities and contributes more effectively to the Department for Transport's road safety strategy. Improvements to accuracy will provide tangible operational benefits in reduced numbers of complaints, telephone enquiries and returned mail. It also aids the congestion charging scheme as well as local office enforcement activity and provides a better foundation for Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team initiatives.

Article by Linda Weaver, taken from DVL Today - Issue 26 - Reproduced under Crown Copyright

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