Fleet News

Fleets warned over new laws

A raft of new motoring offences which have come into force this week will place a greater onus on fleet managers to check employees’ driving licences.

The new measures, introduced under the Road Safety Act, include the raising of penalty points – from three to six – for those failing to provide information about the identity of a driver caught speeding.

This follows numerous incidents where motorists have claimed others were driving in order to avoid points on their licences.

There are fears that this and other new measures (see below) could result in employees being banned from driving after two offences.

Jason Francis, managing director of software and fleet management firm Jaama, said: “The chances of at-work drivers having points on their licence is continually increasing.

“Driving licences of prospective employees should be checked against the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) database at the recruitment stage and a reporting system to check the licences of existing employees is essential.”

Some fleet management software includes a direct link to the DVLA database so licences can be checked automatically.

Mr Francis added: “Businesses cannot afford not to undertake licence checks themselves or through a third party.

“If an employee is forced to make a choice between keeping their job and maintaining their lifestyle, or revealing they have a driving ban, loyalty to the employer could be tested to the limit. Can any company afford such risks?”

New offences

  • Penalty points for failing to allow a drink-drive sample to be subjected to a laboratory test stay on licence for 11 years instead of four.

  • Maximum fine for careless or inconsiderate driving doubled to £5,000

  • Maximum fine for not ensuring that children are wearing seatbelts in the back of vehicles raised from £200 to £500.

  • A minimum six-month ban for anyone using a vehicle in a dangerous condition for the second time in four years.

  • Maximum fine for failing to stop if requested by police increased from £1,000 to £5,000.
    Source: Road Safety Act
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