Government announces HOTA Call for Evidence

The Government has launched a Call for Evidence on Home Office Type Approval (HOTA), the process by which enforcement technology is approved to ensure that evidence from devices can be admissible in UK courts without eye-witness corroboration.

In a significant win for the ‘Let’s Get HOTA Working’ campaign, launched by ITS UK, in June, the Call for Evidence will enable enforcement technology manufacturers to feed their thoughts directly to the Home Office on how the process can be improved, ultimately to support road safety and deliver a robust and effective approval process for suppliers.

The Call for Evidence will run from Monday 15 January to 14 February. A launch event, organised jointly by ITS UK and the Home Office, will take place on 17 January at 10am. Further information about the event can be found here.

There has been broad support from the industry, welcoming the news.

Max Sugarman, Chief Executive of ITS UK, said: “The launch of a Call for Evidence on the Home Office Type Approval process is a big step forward for enforcement technology providers. We’re delighted the Home Office have listened to industry’s concerns, set out by the ‘Let’s Get HOTA Working’ campaign, and are taking steps to change the process.

“For some time, suppliers have been highlighting issues with HOTA, including the long and uncertain timelines for approval, the need for regular dialogue with assessors, the requirement for a process by which modifications to current devices can be fast-tracked and that updates to the SpeedMeter Handbook guidance need to be made. Getting this right – with a robust, but clear and effective approval process in place – will not only improve road safety, but will also support investment and growth in a globally-regarded UK industry.

James Riley, Managing Director of Neology UK, who has been leading a group of enforcement technology providers in calling for changes to HOTA, added: “This call for evidence is an excellent opportunity for the whole industry and the beginning of the dialogue with the Home Office that we have all stated is so important.  We should all make the most of this to give our considered input based on experience of type approval both in the UK and elsewhere in the world.  This will form a solid basis to ensure the type approval process is fit for purpose and continues to be the gold standard that ensures a robust approval, but one that can embrace innovation to further drive road safety – ultimately achieving Vision Zero.”

Geoff Collins, Chair of ITS UK’s Enforcement Forum and General Manager at Acusensus, said: “This is a very positive move and I encourage all relevant enforcement suppliers, consultants and operators to engage fully. It is an opportunity to ensure our type approval process remains relevant and robust for today’s environment, given the pace of technological change we see everywhere”.

Max concluded: “Thank you to all the ITS UK members and enforcement technology providers who supported the campaign and have helped us reach this important milestone. Now, we urge the industry to get behind the Call for Evidence and share with the Home Office their thoughts on how we deliver an effective HOTA process for the future.”