Fleet decision-makers are being urged to use temporary changes in legislation wisely, while ensuring their drivers and vehicles remain compliant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Licence Bureau says all businesses need to ensure they not only stick to the letter of the law and maintain stringent records of activity, but that they continue to adhere to their duty of care obligations as employers.
This is especially relevant to those organisations, such as home delivery operators and key supply hauliers, who have witnessed a significant rise in demand for their services since the lockdown was introduced on Monday, March 23.
With capacity stretched in many cases with drivers working longer hours and vehicles in constant use, Licence Bureau is warning businesses to be extra vigilant in documenting the health and condition of their core assets.
Temporary changes to legislation made by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) during the pandemic include: a six-month extension to car, van or motorcycle MOTs due on or after 30 March 2020; a three month MOT exemption to HGVs, trailers and public service vehicles whose annual safety test certificate was about to expire; a relaxation of drivers’ hours rules; changes to Driver CPC requirements including approval of online training; and, for those drivers whose driving licence expires in 2020, the availability of temporary 12-month licences without the need to submit a D4 medical report.
“There is an awful lot to take in for any business operating a fleet of vehicles right now,” said Licence Bureau sales director Steve Pinchen.
“One critical aspect amongst all of this is to continue to ensure compliance and within that falls a duty of care.
“Not only are we urging all businesses to follow government advice, but we are too advocating two key areas: driver wellbeing and vehicle safety checks.
“Now is not the time to let these stringent controls slip.”
Pinchen also reminded fleets that Government has made it clear every business and driver has a duty of care to make sure vehicles are safe to drive despite the temporary changes.
“With the extra utilisation some of these vehicles are currently experiencing, consistent and more regular safety checks are a must,” he said.
Licence Bureau is continuing to work very closely with its client base – providing its typical compliance services but also assisting those to navigate the temporary changes to legislation and preparing for when the ‘normal’ rules return.
Pinchen continued: “We are here to help and are working alongside our partners to support them through this challenging time. I would advise anyone who is unsure to get in contact.”
Supporting the changes in legislation, Licence Bureau parent company TTC Group is now delivering its JAUPT (Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training) approved Driver CPC courses and core fleet manager courses online.