Check Your Drivers

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Smart Highways – you either love then or you hate them. They are said to regulate and improve the traffic flow on motorways and reduce the likelihood of delays but some criticise their safety with a lack of a hard shoulder to stop in when in an emergency situation. One thing is clear – the smart cameras operate 24 hours a day, not just when the limit is reduced on the overhead gantry. Drivers caught speeding can be fined up to £2,500 as well as up to 6 points on their license and speeds over 90 mph could lead to disqualification. With more and more of the highways being developed, the likelihood of employees who drive on business receiving speeding tickets will go up.

Employers have a duty of care as well as a legal obligation to check employees’ driving licenses. If there is an accident or an incident whilst driving on Company business, and the driver had no valid licence, then the Company could be held liable. The fines come at a heavy cost and new guidelines in February 2016 introduced larger penalties for businesses convicted of corporate manslaughter, some of which have gone as high as £200,000.

For Companies who have employees driving on Company business, whether it is to an occasional meeting or for Companies whose operations depend on the delivery of their products, it is essential driving license checks are carried out regularly.

It is suggested that the licences of vocational drivers are checked four times a year. Vocational drivers are those whose main job function is carrying goods or passengers. Company car drivers should be checked twice a year and casual drivers once a year. The same goes for ‘grey fleet’ drivers. These are the drivers who use their own vehicles for business rather than a Company owned vehicle, in exchange for a cash allowance. The purpose of the frequent checks is to keep up to date with any ineligible drivers as well as those who may have recently received points. You also need to check and have evidence that any Employee using their own personal vehicle has valid insurance for business use and that their vehicle is adequately maintained and has a valid MOT certificate where appropriate.
  • Create a robust procedure alongside your Drivers Policy whereby you do regular checks on all employees who will be driving in relation to their job
  • Ensure you obtain all relevant valid and original documents each time
  • Photocopy the documents, sign and date that you have seen the originals and save them securely in the employee file
  • Obtain signed authorisation from the employee to carry out the checks
  • Carry out the license check on the DVLA website
  • Print out the results and save them on file
  • Update your insurance Company of any changes to existing employees licenses
  • Create a process that will remind you when the next check is due
These checks are more than a compliance issue, whilst they may seem like an administrative chore to some; a robust process will protect the Company against future potentially disastrous fallout.

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