Should drivers pay?
Companies that lease will be charged an admin fee (often ranging from £15-£30) for each fine the leasing company processes.
Some companies choose to pass both the fine and the admin fee on to the driver.
Natalie Chapman, head of policy – London at the FTA, acknowledges that “it concentrates the mind if the driver knows they might have to pay a fine”.
“Companies need to make the right distinction,” she says. “Did the driver make a genuine mistake or were they simply not caring? If it’s the latter the company should definitely pass the fine on.”
How to avoid fines
1. Educate drivers about parking rules and restrictions
Kelly Fleet Services, for example, includes a four-hour parking session in its training course for new drivers. The session covers camera offences, bus lanes, red routes and parking contraventions as well as testing drivers’ knowledge of signs. Refresher training is also carried out when rules change.
2. Analyse data from previous fines
“Look at the top five hotspots,” advises Natalie Chapman, head of policy – London, FTA. “Why do fines happen at those locations? Is the driver constantly stopping in the wrong place? Is the loading restriction at a certain time of day? If so, could the driver go earlier or later? Is there a problem with the location? Is there nowhere to stop? In which case, speak to the local authority, demonstrate that there are no alternatives and you might get a sympathetic ear.”
3. Build relationships
Although no councils have granted Celesio Group formal dispensation, having a good relationship with the local traffic warden can help. “They may allow the driver to make the delivery as long as they don’t loiter,” says fleet manager Geoff Wright.