Fleet News

New survey uncovers lax licence checking

AN investigation into fleet safety has exposed continuing flaws in licence checking.

Some 80% of companies were found to have ineffective checks, while up to 150,000 company motorists could have invalid driving licences for driving private cars on business because, for example, they have racked up too many speeding points or their address has changed and the licence is therefore invalid. Increased legislation against businesses means companies could pay dearly for not ensuring their staff and vehicles are fit for purpose, claim executives at Interleasing.

Interleasing’s survey of 1,000 drivers revealed that almost 80% of businesses were not checking their driving licences regularly.

Sales and marketing director Clive Forsythe said: ‘The business rationale for the scheme is clear. Of the 28 million drivers on the road, 2.8 million are company car drivers with a further 2.5 million using their own cars for business, a figure that has doubled over the past five years partly due to generous ‘cash-for-car’ incentives. Our own recent research showed that 36% of fleet drivers had never had their driving licences checked and 32% had only had their licence checked when they first joined the company.’

Another survey out this week describes the level of awareness among company directors about the costs and risks posed to employers by employees driving on company business as ‘worrying low’.

Occupational road risk specialists Essential Risk Consultancy found that only 1% of directors it questioned knew the answers to crucial questions about their companies’ exposure to at-work road safety risks. Jeremy Hay, who heads up the company, said: ‘Fewer than 1% of directors are aware of all the legislation under which companies or individual directors can be prosecuted over an accident involving a vehicle driven by an employee, be it their own vehicle or one provided by the company.

‘And although many directors are aware of the difficulties of bringing manslaughter prosecutions, only 0.5% know the police are pushing for managers to be brought to court for aiding and abetting when there is an incident involving vehicles on company business.’

Risky business
NONE of the company directors quizzed on their risk management receive detailed reports of the total cost of road accidents to their business. Essential Risk Consultancy also found that only a tiny amount, less than 1%, maintained an audit trail to show they had assessed occupational road risks and taken the necessary steps, a move which would cut costs and provide vital evidence in the event of a police investigation.

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