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LETTERS to the Fleet News editor Martyn Moore.

MID action against fleets can’t come soon enough

SIR – I felt compelled to write after reading the leader article which appeared in Fleet News, April 27.

The article, entitled ‘14,000 fleets face prosecution threat’, highlights the fact that thousands of fleets that have not kept the Motor Insurance Database (MID) up-to-date are likely to have their details handed to police for prosecution.

This move comes as the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) seeks to get tough on those drivers who continually fail to register their vehicles on the MID.

As head of corporate customer services at Lloyds TSB autolease, I can only endorse such action. The MID has been up and running for more than three years now and as compliance has now become a legal requirement, it is high time that appropriate action is taken against those who do not conform.

We should remember that the creation of the MID is not an exercise in red tape, but a step to reducing the number of uninsured drivers on our roads, a problem that is estimated to cost every honest motorist £15-30 in additional insurance, not to mention the threat to all of our safety.

The fact that such a high number of fleets appear not to have kept the MID up-to-date does lead me to ask one question: are fleet management organisations doing enough to ensure that customers are aware of this legislation and recognise the importance of maintaining the database?

While a number of leading companies have taken steps to ensure that customers are fully compliant with the insurance database, why haven’t ALL fleet management companies taken this problem away from their customers?

At Lloyds TSB autolease, we recognise the administrative hassle that maintaining the MID can involve and give our customers the option of removing themselves from this time-consuming process.

For the last three years, at our customers’ request, we have carried out the registration and updating process on behalf of many of our clients.

What’s more, we field any questions that the MIB may have regarding the insurance status of any of our customers’ fleet vehicles.

The feedback we have had from customers regarding this system has been very favourable, and I’m certain that if more fleet organisations were to adopt such a system, the number of fleet vehicles not registered on the MID would fall significantly.

Viv Kelly, Head of corporate customer, services, Lloyds TSB autolease

Fag crazy!

SIR – Regarding the news article ‘Single-driver company cars escape smoking ban’ (Fleet News, May 18), I find it unbelievable that smoking by motorists while driving is not against the law.

How can it be that in an example from a national news-paper, a woman sitting stationary at traffic lights, with the handbrake on, gearbox in neutral, car safe, reached down to pick up a bottle of water and take a drink, put it back, continued to wait and then drove off when the lights changed, can then be pulled over and fined by the police?

But a smoker on the motorway can fumble in pockets or on the dashboard to find the packet, open it, get out a cigarette, put the packet away, repeat the process to get the lighter and light the cigarette, then quite happily keep taking his or her hand off the steering wheel to actually smoke, all at 70mph, can be free from prosecution.

Can anyone really justify that?

Stephan Presland, Project officer, Derbyshire County Council

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