Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder tim2718281 Informative tim2718281 Informative tim2718281 Informative

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    Default What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Someone at work was talking about an organisation they think were called "VOSA", which had people running a roadside vehicle inspection.

    They seemed to be picking cars and directing them into a lay-by for inspection.

    There were no police around.

    I know that drivers are required to stop when directed to do so by a uniformed police officer, and this is of course perfectly reasonable. Police officers will doubtless have some good reason for stopping a driver.

    However, I don't see how drivers can be required to stop by other people. Crooks would have a great time if they could simply direct cars to stop in a lay-by, then force the occupants out and steal their vehicles and contents!

    (Impersonating a police officer is a serious offence. Donning a yellow jacket with some mysterious letters on it is not ...)

    Does anyone know what VOSA is up to? Surely if they are a bona fide agency carrying out some lawful activity, they should be able to arrange for a police officer and patrol car to be in attendance, to reassure drivers the agency is acting lawfully.

    Tim

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?


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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    I am a Petrol Tanker driver for BP and yes VOSA do have the powers to stop any vechicle and carry out roadside checks, they are basicly the replacement for the ministry of transport, they can issue prohibition notices on vechicle owners if they are not road worth etc.


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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    VOSA normally operate roadside checks in partnership with the Police. The Police officer will direct the vehicle into the checkpoint or weighbridge and VOSA will then carry out the inspection. All perfectly legal.


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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Here in Scotland, VOSA operate in tandem with the police, on their own a driver can quite legally refuse to follow their instructions to pull over at the roadside and just keep on going. A police officer making a similar request MUST be obeyed or you can be done for failure to stop. The trouble is a lot of folk see a flourescent jacked as 'authority' and just comply. I don't unless I see it is a properly uniformed police officer!

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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    The Police Refornm Act 2002 allows chief officers of police to accredit other organisations or individuals with the power to stop a vehicle.

    However, as you rightly point out, this power does not extend to Scotland.


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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Much of the legislation with regard to Law and Roads are devolved issues as therefore not subject to what would normally be 'accepted practice' in England & Wales. On a side note, wheel-claming is illegal in scotland (the High Court referred to it as 'extortion') which is why private parking firms have not flourished here.


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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by buzby View Post
    On a side note, wheel-claming is illegal in scotland (the High Court referred to it as 'extortion') which is why private parking firms have not flourished here.
    You lucky b***ard


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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by patdavies View Post
    You lucky b***ard


    There's not many compensations for living up here (colder, wetter etc), however differences like this (along with NHS Scotland) kinda make it worth it!


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    Basic Account Holder michelle73 Novitiate michelle73 Novitiate

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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim2718281 View Post
    Someone at work was talking about an organisation they think were called "VOSA", which had people running a roadside vehicle inspection.

    They seemed to be picking cars and directing them into a lay-by for inspection.

    There were no police around.

    I know that drivers are required to stop when directed to do so by a uniformed police officer, and this is of course perfectly reasonable. Police officers will doubtless have some good reason for stopping a driver.

    However, I don't see how drivers can be required to stop by other people. Crooks would have a great time if they could simply direct cars to stop in a lay-by, then force the occupants out and steal their vehicles and contents!

    (Impersonating a police officer is a serious offence. Donning a yellow jacket with some mysterious letters on it is not ...)

    Does anyone know what VOSA is up to? Surely if they are a bona fide agency carrying out some lawful activity, they should be able to arrange for a police officer and patrol car to be in attendance, to reassure drivers the agency is acting lawfully.

    Tim
    Hi Tim, VOSA actually have more authority to stop and check not only LGV drivers but regular car drivers. They do not need to have a reason like traffic police. They can impound your vehicle and also issue you with a prohibition niotice where appropriate.

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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    FYI:
    The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) was formed on 1st April 2003 following the merger of the Vehicle Inspectorate and the Traffic Area Network division of the Department for Transport. VOSA provides a range of licensing, testing and enforcement services with the aim of improving the roadworthiness standards of vehicles ensuring the compliance of operators and drivers with road traffic legislation, and supporting the independent Traffic Commissioners.

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  12. #12
    Basic Account Holder tim2718281 Informative tim2718281 Informative tim2718281 Informative

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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by michelle73 View Post
    FYI:
    The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) was formed on 1st April 2003 following the merger of the Vehicle Inspectorate and the Traffic Area Network division of the Department for Transport. VOSA provides a range of licensing, testing and enforcement services with the aim of improving the roadworthiness standards of vehicles ensuring the compliance of operators and drivers with road traffic legislation, and supporting the independent Traffic Commissioners.
    Thanks for that. I am catching up with the reading.

    Interestingly, *no-one* I've spoken to here in Hampshire was aware that Hampshire police have accredited VOSA staff with the power to stop vehicles ... in fact no-one had heard of VOSA. So we'd all be in the position of being instructed to stop by people wearing a jacket with the name of an organisation we'd never heard of, and which we were unaware had the power to stop us.

    Tim


  13. #13
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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    I know VOSA well, colleagues even work alongside them in some cases, and I didn't know they had the power to stop either...

    Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    I know vosa cause they did stop me lol ! but it was a police officer who pulled me over but left evreything to the other guy to explain everything and issue me with a ticket to get me car sorted within 21 days or then they would take it further so it was a good thing as they detected faults that made the car unroadworthy that i didn't know about but they give you 21 days to get it sorted


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    Basic Account Holder tim2718281 Informative tim2718281 Informative tim2718281 Informative

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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by ida5921 View Post
    I know vosa cause they did stop me lol ! but it was a police officer who pulled me over but left evreything to the other guy to explain everything and issue me with a ticket to get me car sorted within 21 days or then they would take it further so it was a good thing as they detected faults that made the car unroadworthy that i didn't know about but they give you 21 days to get it sorted
    Yes, testing and advising of faults is a good idea. By the way, what happened after you got the car fixed?

    It's the absence of a police constable that's the problem. Anyone can put on a jacket with "VOSA" written on it and direct people to stop in a nearby area. (And when you do stop, what do you do if someone jumps out and immobilizes your car because where you've been directed to stop is private property?)

    Tim


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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim2718281 View Post

    It's the absence of a police constable that's the problem. Anyone can put on a jacket with "VOSA" written on it and direct people to stop in a nearby area. (And when you do stop, what do you do if someone jumps out and immobilizes your car because where you've been directed to stop is private property?)

    Tim
    Or punches you in the teeth and steels your mobile and keys - no way on the planet I'm stopping for ANYBODY except the old bill.

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    Basic Account Holder tim2718281 Informative tim2718281 Informative tim2718281 Informative

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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by HydraUK View Post
    Or punches you in the teeth and steels your mobile and keys - no way on the planet I'm stopping for ANYBODY except the old bill.
    Well, it seems to me that VOSA's activities will increase, so over time we will all become more aware. And some VOSA staff *will* be accredited with the powers of a police constable, and so on the face of it failing to stop *is* an offence.

    What you can reasonably do is ask for documentation from the person claiming to have authority to stop, and call the local police to verify it before following their directions.

    Tim

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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Do any of them have ID hanging around their neck ?

    The sensible thing to do, would be to pull up with your window open just an inch (with locked doors, of course), and ask for their ID and what their purpose is in stopping you. You have a right to be cautious in a situation like this - and the Police would be the first to advise this approach if there was a copycat group operating this kind of a thing.

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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by HydraUK View Post
    Or punches you in the teeth and steels your mobile and keys - no way on the planet I'm stopping for ANYBODY except the old bill.
    Well now that you know who VOSA are you'll be able to stop for them. And how do you know that the Old Bill in the unmarked car really are the Old Bill? Anyone car purchase strobes and uniforms on the net. Point is that you'll be in a whole lot more trouble if you don't stop. It's unlikely you'll be stopped by a single VOSA officer. Normally they'll be in pairs in marked cars or they'll be in a huge group with vans and equipment everywhere.

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    Default Re: What is VOSA, and can they stop cars?

    If I stop for VOSA they might find the illegal immigrants I've been using as inner tubes. (They paid to be imported inside the tyres but the ride was soooo comfy)

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