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Many companies don't bother to check their fleet drivers' licences regularly

David Woods , 12 Aug 2010

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One in five fleets is failing to regularly recheck driving licences after carrying out an initial check, meaning they have no idea if company car drivers have committed driving offences, new research shows.

The news from fleet software providers CFC comes despite advice from the Association of Car Fleet Operators to recheck licences every six months.

Neville Briggs, managing director at CFC, said: "There is varying guidance on how often driving licences should be rechecked with the DVLA. ACFO recommends every six months but we recommend that if a driver has a high number of points – eight or more – then their employer should be running a check more often, perhaps every month.

"However, what has surprised us is the relatively high number of fleets that appear to be treating driving licence checks as a ‘once only’ exercise. They use Licence Link once, take account of the results but then have no structured plans to rerun the check. It is a worrying trend and, in all probability, a duty of care failing."

CFC advises the frequency of driving licence rechecks should be made based on how many points a driver has on their licence. For most fleets, the guidance is annually for those with no points, every six months for those with 1-3, every three months for those with 4-7, and every month for those with 8-12.

Briggs added: "This approach is based on the principle that drivers with points represent a greater risk to the fleet and that the more points they have, the higher the risk they are. This is a commonsense approach followed by all risk management specialists.

"Clearly, drivers in the highest-risk categories, where they are only one or two offences away from a ban, need to be checked very regularly. They are both the highest risk from a duty-of-care point of view but also have the most to lose in the event of a ban – probably their job – and so are much more likely to try to hide that information.

"Fleets that choose not to recheck are making two false assumptions - that drivers will update them about any changes and that these changes rarely happen. In fact, our experience with Licence Link is that drivers with ‘bad’ licences are willing to lie – just last week we uncovered one who had a drink-driving ban - while the points status of drivers can change very rapidly, often in course of a matter of months."

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