Fleet News

Fleets warned: be 'cast iron' in licence checking

A LEADING fleet expert has warned UK employers to introduce cast iron procedures for regularly checking the driving licences of company car drivers, or risk falling foul of corporate manslaughter legislation. The proliferation of speed cameras on UK roads will see company drivers accumulate more penalty points on their licences, and some employees are bound to be disqualified from driving, said Professor Peter Cooke, head of the Centre for Automotive Industries Management at Nottingham Business School.

This could lead to a situation where employees who have lost their driving licences continue to drive, for fear of losing their jobs if they own up to their disqualification. Recent Government figures show the number of drivers caught speeding rocketed 150% to more than 500,000 between 1995 and 1999.

Insurance policies specifically exclude disqualified drivers, leaving fleets heavily exposed should a driver without a licence be involved in an accident. Such a scenario would also have serious ramifications under proposed corporate manslaughter legislation that would see company directors held responsible for the actions of employees driving on business.

Professor Cooke said fleets may have to carry out driving licence checks every month or even more frequently as the risk increases of drivers accumulating penalty points for speeding.

'How many fleet managers already check licences and do they actually see both sides of the licence, rather than a photocopy?' he asked. 'There are suggestions that in future there could be disqualification by post and where will that leave fleets?'

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