Fleet News

Licence crackdown plea after data act anomaly

A DATA Protection Act anomaly that prevents fleets from accessing driver records without individual permission should force companies to introduce a strict ‘no consent, no car’ policy.

The warning comes after a survey of 2,000 company car drivers found that one had been banned and 17 had between nine and 12 points – a level at which employees in many companies would be in danger of losing their jobs. An increasing number of companies are carrying out checks on driving licences as part of their duty of care responsibilities.

The call for employers to taker a tougher line with their company drivers comes from fleet management company Masterlease, which carried out its first analysis of driving licence validation data.

Driving licence validation is a process where a company can check the licence validity, the types of vehicle the driver is allowed to drive as well as the endorsements of anyone who drives a company vehicle or their own car for business purposes.

It said the results could have been worse had it not been for the fact the Data Protection Act prevents companies accessing driver records without individual consent.

More than 600 drivers, about 32% of the poll, could not be measured because they had not consented to having their licences checked. This was despite two formal reminders sent 10 days apart.

The company suggests this could be down to internal issues over how effectively the importance of complying with the request was communicated to staff.

The company is now urging fleets to introduce stricter policies when it is proved that drivers understood the importance of consenting, but still refused.

Gavin Jones, head of risk management services, said this would mean that fleets can withhold the keys to company vehicles, or not allow drivers to use their own vehicles for company business unless they do consent to a driving licence check.

He added: ‘This is the only way businesses can measure whether or not they have discharged their duty of care responsibilities, otherwise they are acting in blind faith and potentially putting drivers and the business at risk.’

Of the 1,400 drivers who did consent, about 30% had three points on their licence and 5% (109) of drivers had five points or more.

Most of the endorsements were for speeding.

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