Fleet News

Magistrates call for action on driving licences

THE Magistrates' Association wants new rules forcing motorists to carry photocard driving licences at all times in order to cut down on time wasting and fraud.

Elliot Griffiths, chairman of the Magistrates' Association's road traffic group, has called for a complete overhaul of the law on driving licences to cut down on abuses.

He said: 'What we are keen to have is compulsory carrying of driving licences when driving. The problem is the scope for fraud. We really do not think this is unreasonable.'

According to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), only 10 million of the 37 million licence holders have photocard licences, and Griffiths said that the changeover for the remaining two-thirds must happen as soon as possible.

Police could then check licences on the roadside, rather than asking drivers to produce them at a police station within seven days which, he says, is open to abuse with banned drivers using duplicates with less points or false identities.

The introduction of such legislation could help to free-up time for fleet operators. With more than 11,000 drivers losing their licences last year for speeding, according to Government figures, many motoring bodies have suggested that companies should not only be checking licences regularly but checking with the DVLA for 'hidden' points.

Compulsory photocards could help to speed up the process by making it much harder for drivers to falsify current documents, Griffiths claimed. Austria and the Republic of Ireland are the only other EU countries not to have mandatory card carrying.

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