Fleet News

Vary licence checks experts warn fleets

FLEETS should introduce a driving licence checking policy which changes frequency depending on the number of points drivers have incurred, experts claim.

Instead of simply examining all licences every six months or each year, fleets can increase the frequency of checks depending on a driver’s record.

So if a driver has eight points or more, then checks should be every three or four months, but if a driver has between four and seven points, then checks should be every six months and if there are less than four points then an annual check is acceptable. According to licence checking service, the Licence Bureau, the different approach reflects that temptation drivers may have to try to hide a ban under the points totting up, where when drivers hit 12 points, they could lose their licences for a period of time.

A spokesman for the Licence Bureau told the Association of Car Fleet Operators London West meeting: ‘If drivers get a short-term ban and their mortgage and lifestyle depends on their job, then they may be tempted to continue driving during the time of the ban. If they are caught, they just say it was an oversight and they ‘forgot’ to mention the ban.’

The firm revealed that the problem of drivers hiding points was greater than many people expected.

In one company, after an announcement that a licence check was being carried out, two members of staff failed to turn up the next day. In addition, 50% of the remaining employees had some form of problem with their licences, such as having more than six points, which had to be registered with its insurers, or they had out-of-date addresses that meant the licence was invalid.

The spokesman said: ‘It is in drivers’ interests to ensure they keep their licences up to date. One driver who had moved house was caught on a speed camera and it was found her licence was out of date and the details on her car registration. As a result, she was fined £1,000 on each count and £250 in administration costs.’

The facts

RESEARCH on licence checks released last week revealed a number of staff are driving illegally.

It found many company motorists had either been banned from driving, only had provisional licences or were not licensed to drive the category of vehicle that their job requires (Fleet NewsNet, April 28). Carried out by RAC Business Solutions’ driver licence checking unit, it also found that speeding and drink driving endorsements are the most common on fleet drivers’ licences.

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