Fleet News

Action call over foreign drivers

Many fleets are reporting a surge in the number of incidents involving overseas drivers.

There are now more than 1,000 incidents involving left-hand-drive vehicles every year and industry groups blame the lack of training.

Bill Pownall, motor risk manager at Norwich Union, said: “Currently, licensed drivers from abroad do not need to undergo any immediate, additional testing to drive legally on UK roads.

“It is imperative that employers complete thorough vetting and induction on any new driver to ensure they are properly licensed, competent, suitably trained on any equipment and medically fit to undertake driving tasks.”

Standard procedures should apply when vetting drivers, according to Mr Pownall.

Fleet managers should check the validity of the driving licence, review endorsements, check the claims history and verify references with previous employers.

Mr Pownall added: “For overseas drivers it is also important to undertake a complete in-vehicle practical driving risk assessment to determine the person’s competence to drive the vehicle and demonstrate their awareness of UK traffic law.”

Fleets are also urged to ensure their UK drivers are aware of the increasing number of foreign lorries on British roads.

According to the Freight Transport Association (FTA), one in seven of the heaviest vehicles is now a left-hand-drive foreign vehicle, which equates to 14,000 every day.

Tony Leigh, fleet manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers has noticed an increase in the number of incidents of left-hand-drive lorries and vehicles on his fleet.

He said: “There are now more incidents involving left-hand-drive lorries, especially with some of the smaller cars such as the Mazda MX-5 which cannot be seen by them.”

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