Fleet News

1m fleet drivers face losing their licences

MORE than a million British motorists are just one conviction away from losing their driving licences, fleets are warned.

The potential for company drivers to lose their licences has been increased by new laws that give drivers three penalty points if they are caught using a hand-held mobile phone behind the wheel.

Research by insurer Direct Line also found that 14% of drivers would lose their jobs if their licences were taken away.

A spokeswoman said: ‘With the advent of speed cameras and the introduction of points for being caught driving using a hand-held mobile phone, we urge motorists not to break the law as they could face numerous consequences such as killing or injuring themselves or others, disqualification, job loss and financial loss.’

Last year, fleets were warned that millions of company car drivers would ask a relative or friend to take on their speeding penalty points if they were facing a ban (Fleet News, December 12).

They are now being urged to carry out licence checks as a matter of urgency.

Steve Johnson, spokesman for the Fleet Safety Association, which represents suppliers of training and associated services to business drivers, said: ‘If ever there was a case for licence checking, it’s now. Although there has never actually been a court case to prove it, it is widely accepted that the very least an employer should be doing is checking that its employees are legally entitled to drive, if that is routinely part of their work duties.’

Mr Johnson said it was not enough to simply glance at a paper licence and assume it is valid and the only way to verify the legality of a licence was to have it checked via the DVLA.

He added: ‘It can be very disruptive if a valued member of staff loses their licence.

‘They may not be able to fulfil their job function effectively and it may even be a disciplinary offence resulting in dismissal, in which case the employer suffers the cost and inconvenience of recruiting a replacement, usually at short notice.’

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