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Licence checking survey highlights true risks to fleet drivers

16 December 2008

A survey of more than 8,000 fleet drivers’ licences has forensically revealed for the first time the extent of high penalty points, foreign endorsements, disqualifications and even those driving for business on provisional licences, it has been claimed.

The sample of nearly 8,500 licences analysed by Masterlease showed that the majority (7,939) of penalty points were issued to drivers with less than four points and typically related to SP30 offences, those exceeding the statutory speed limit on a public road.

 There were also higher than expected (368) occurrences of SP50s - those caught speeding above 70 mph on the motorway and (204) traffic and direction offences where drivers have been caught contravening road signs.

Licence checking has become a hot topic in many larger businesses because of the increasing risk regulations and the introduction of corporate manslaughter and corporate homicide laws that could see employers prosecuted in the instance of a fatal accident.

Masterlease checks have also identified ‘notifications’ - those instances beyond the points system where drivers have been disqualified or even driving on provisional licences. Almost 30% of ‘notifications’ fell into this latter category, while 15% had previously been banned from driving. Ten per cent were foreign drivers who had incurred British penalty points, while 41% were ‘revoked’ licences - those withdrawn from the driver for reasons including failure to surrender a licence for points to be added or on medical grounds.

Gavin Jones, risk management manager for Masterlease, said: “This is an extremely clever and forensic tool that can drill down into a lot of risk detail with a positive view to assist companies.

“Companies need to be aware that all drivers using company vehicles or their own cars for business have passed a test and are entitled to drive that vehicle on the road, whether it be a manual car, van or HGV. This validation service allows businesses to be sure and safe and aware of their corporate responsibilities at all times.”