Fleet News

Licence check warning over staggered fines

FLEETS should ensure they check driving licences more thoroughly once a new staggered penalty points system for speeding offences is introduced, the industry is being warned.

The warning comes from RAC Business Solutions, which has released its own figures concerning company drivers and the amount of endorsement points they have.

It gathered the information from 100 companies of different sizes.

The introduction of variable speeding fines and points, announced in the Road Safety Bill, could mean drivers losing their licences more quickly, and fleets will need to be on the ball to keep track of drivers racking up different numbers of points.

New research suggests that one in six company drivers have three or more penalty point endorsements on their licences already, 4% have between four and six points and 1% have seven points or more.

Richard Hill, head of risk management, RAC Business Solutions, said: ‘Driver licence checking is an integral part of any company’s risk assessment strategy, particularly given the recently published Road Safety Bill.

‘Staggered penalty points are likely to be given according to how much the speed limit has been exceeded, and so it will be quite possible for a driver to be given a fixed penalty of six points, rather than three, which may lead to more drivers falling under the classification of high risk or being banned altogether. The impact of this on businesses should not be underestimated.’

Fleets were warned last summer that up to 50% of their drivers could have invalid licences because of basic errors. The warning was sounded during a meeting of the London West branch of the Association of Car Fleet Operators (ACFO), where delegates were told that simple errors, including an out-of-date address, could make a licence void. Motorists failing to update their licences, including an address change, face a £1,000 fine.

One fleet manager said: ‘In checks, there have been problems with one in two licences. These are basic errors, such as addresses being wrong.’

Fact file

UNDER measures announced in the Road Safety Bill, ‘low speed offenders’ will get a £40 fine and two-point licence endorsement instead of the current £60 and three-points.

Drivers caught exceeding the speed limit substantially would face fines of £100 and get six points on their licence.

This would apply to drivers caught travelling faster than 44mph in a 30mph area or 56mph on a 40mph road.

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