Fleet News

Coronavirus: Long-term impact on business driving predicted

Busy motorway

Covid-19 will have a lasting impact on fleet policies, procedures and practices, creating a very different environment for fleet compliance, according to Licence Bureau.

A long-term desire to work from home is evident in a new Department for Transport (DfT) report. The All Change Tracker report suggested low levels of interest for previous commuting routines.

It comes after separate research showed how people will continue to avoid public and shared transport in a post-pandemic world, potentially increasing grey fleet use and impacting the wider mobility market. 

The study, from the Capgemini Research Institute, showed a huge shift in attitude away from travelling by public transport and car share.

Steve Pinchen, sales director of Licence Bureau, said: “Without doubt, these past 12 months will have a significant long-term impact on business driving across policies, procedures and practices.”

Licence Bureau says that the change in working life potentially brings serious implications for any business, not only due to risk management and duty of care obligations but also the little-known fact that ‘cause or permit to drive’ legislation.

It means that penalties can be duplicated for fleet managers should employers request employees to visit the office – which in many cases may no longer be deemed as their ‘place of work’. 

According to the Road Traffic Act 1988/1991, ownership of a vehicle involved in an offence is irrelevant. This therefore implicates both owned business fleet and grey fleet operators.

The Act also cites that causing or permitting driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence can incur three to six points with fine up to £1,000.

Despite ‘stay at home’ orders over the past 12 months which saw up to an 80% reduction in traffic volumes, Licence Bureau says that motorists still accrued 1.5 million points during the first half of 2020.

In parallel with this, licence checking volumes rose significantly, with the company undertaking 200,000 checks in a quarter for the first time.

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