Fleet Licence Check News Blog


How Allergy Medicine Could Affect Your Licence

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, June 23, 2017

As an employer, you could conduct real-time licence checks on your drivers only to discover that one of them has a history of impaired driving. But what does that mean? Was that driver caught behind the wheel after drinking or taking illicit drugs? Possibly. But it could also mean something a lot more innocent. The incident in question could have been nothing more than driving after taking allergy medicine. Read More


Age and Ignorance Doesn't Excuse Fake Licence

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, June 09, 2017

If you have ever wondered whether a regular driver licence check is necessary for your company drivers, you need look no further than a number of recent news stories that show just what can happen when a person is caught driving without a proper licence. Read More


Avoid Serious Penalties with Regular Licence Checks

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, May 26, 2017

Do you drive as part of your job? If so, when was the last time you confirmed that your licence information is accurate? If you don't drive for work, perhaps you own or manage a company that employs people who do. When was the last time you ran licence checks on those employees? We ask for one simple reason: running regular licence checks can help you or your employees avoid serious penalties. Read More


Electronic Licence Checks: Minimal Impact from New Guidance

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, May 12, 2017

New guidance just issued by the General Medical Council should bring non-professional drivers more in line with their professional counterparts in terms of being healthy enough to drive safely. However, the guidance is not expected to impact professionals with HGV licences who are already required to undergo routine medical checks in order to keep working. The guidance also has only a minimal impact on employers who run electronic licence checks on their drivers. Read More


Sat Nav Proficiency Being Added to Driving Exam

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, April 28, 2017

A few short years from now, completing a successful driver licence check on a younger driver will mean that person can safely and effectively use a sat nav while driving. Thanks to recent changes to the driving exam announced by the DVSA, new drivers will need to demonstrate sat nav proficiency to get their driving licences.

The sat nav requirement is just one of four new changes being rolled out from December 4th, 2017. The changes are intended to bring the driving exam more in line with 21st-century driving conditions. Government representatives have said they want to test to reflect changing driving conditions and behaviours.

Following a Sat Nav During the Test

Preliminary reports suggest drivers will have to be able to successfully follow directions provided by a sat nav device during the driving exam. Examiners will provide the device and position it so it can be used safely.

Examiners will set the course candidates are expected to follow. A candidate's only responsibility will be to drive while responding to sat nav instructions. If the distraction proves too much, it is possible the new driver will not pass the exam. The DVSA has not yet released details about how the sat nav portion of the exam will be scored.

Sat Navs are a Part of Modern Driving

The vast majority of our clients operate either large fleets or have a number of employees who drive company vehicles on a regular basis. They are already familiar with the concept of driving with sat navs leading the way. Still, we wonder how many drivers already licenced drivers could pass the sat nav portion of the new test.

A driver licence check of a current driver would not indicate experience with the sat nav device. The best employers can do is assume that their drivers can handle the distraction without compromising safety.

On a final and somewhat lighter note, we wonder what would happen if the sat nav device being used in the driving exam gave incorrect instructions. How many times have we read the stories about commercial drivers who got their lorries stuck under a bridge after following incorrect sat nav directions?

All of this notwithstanding, conducting a regular driver licence check on all your company drivers is important to the best interests of your company. We can provide those checks both efficiently and cost-effectively.

Sources:

BBC – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39594852

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Driver Licences Set to Go Digital by 2018

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, April 21, 2017

Licence checks are on the verge of getting a lot easier for both commercial drivers and their employers. Thanks to a plan already set in motion by the DVLA, qualified drivers already part of the agency's online system will be able to store a digital representation of their licences on a smartphone and readily share them with third-party recipients like employers and car hire companies. Read More


Warning: Expired Driving Licence Could Cost You Big

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, April 07, 2017

Imagine sending your best driver out on his daily route in full confidence that he will complete the day's work and return to the warehouse safely. A few hours later, you get a phone call. Guess what? Your driver was pulled over and is now in trouble. Apparently, his driving licence expired months ago. Such a scenario could cost both you and him significantly. Read More


Government Gets Tougher on Drivers Using Mobile Phones

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, March 17, 2017

As of 1st March 2017, the penalties for using a mobile phone while driving became a lot more severe. So severe, in fact, that it's now worth considering locking your mobile phone in the glove compartment so there's absolutely no temptation. The tougher penalties will hopefully reduce the number of car accidents on our roads and save lives at the same time. Read More


Tougher Mobile Phone Penalties Are Well Received

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, March 03, 2017

Recent efforts by the government to strengthen penalties for driving while using mobile phones have been well received thus far. From road safety experts to most of the fleet industry, the general reaction to the changes is one of agreement and support. Still, there is room for improvement.

Penalty points for being caught driving while using a mobile phone went up from 1st March. Now, six points will be added to a driving licence instead of the former three, and fines have been doubled from £100 to £200. It is hoped that the increased points and higher fine will dissuade people from using their phones while driving.

Fines Comparatively Low

While the Brake charity welcomes the changes as better than nothing, they say that the fines are still too low when compared to other things. For example, Brake campaigns director Gary Rae called the £200 fine inadequate in light of the fact that the fine for not having a TV licence is £1000. Driving while distracted by a mobile phone is a far deadlier exercise than watching TV without a licence.

Brake officials are also concerned about gradually declining enforcement efforts. He attributes the slowed enforcement to falling numbers of traffic police on the roads. According to Fleet News UK, the number of road traffic police officers is down almost a third over the last six years, to just ‘3,700 specialist officers in England and Wales’.

Distractions and Road Accidents

Government action to increase penalty points and fines isaction that has been a long time coming. Statistics clearly show that upwards of 30% of all road accidents in the EU region are in some way related to distractions. Unfortunately, mobile phones and social media provide two of the biggest distractions to drivers. But drivers don't have to be texting or posting to run into problems. Even talking on a mobile phone while driving can lead to an accident.

Scientific studies have shown that the split second it takes to glance at a phone screen to acknowledge a text or call is long enough to lead to a deadly accident. It's not enough for drivers to be dissuaded from texting or posting to social media; they need to be pressured into turning their phones off entirely.

Let the Crackdown Begin

With the new penalty points and fines now in place, it's time for the crackdown to begin. Government changes have been well received thus far, but the perception among industry experts and the general public may turn negative if we discover that stiffer penalties actually have no teeth. The proof will ultimately be found in enforcement efforts.

Driving while distracted is a deadly practice that should never even be a thought that enters the driver's mind. If it takes more points on a driving licence and stiffer fines to get that message across, so be it. The number of lives lost to distracted driving dictates we do whatever it takes.

Sources:

Fleet News UK – http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2017/03/02/road-safety-experts-and-fleet-industry-suppliers-welcome-tougher-penalties-for-mobile-phone-use-while-driving

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Drivers Not Confident in Their Testing Abilities

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, February 17, 2017

If you had to retake your driving test tomorrow to keep your licence, do you think you would pass? What about your fleet drivers? If they are like the majority of drivers in the UK, they probably don't have confidence in their own abilities either. It makes you wonder what we're all doing behind the wheel on any given day.

As you already know, getting a full driving licence requires passing a rigorous test designed to gauge a driver's knowledge and skill. Fail the test, and you don't get a licence. On the other hand, passing the test affords driving privileges for life – unless a person does something serious enough to result in a ban. Perhaps it's time for us to think about remedial driving tests.

Drivers Lack Confidence

It turns out that new research released earlier this month by Voucher Codes Pro shows that most UK licence holders lack confidence in their own driving skills. When asked whether they could pass a driving test, the majority said no. Nearly all the survey respondents admitted to picking up bad habits that could result in failure if they had to retake the driving test the next day.

Voucher Codes Pro surveyed just under 2,500 drivers over the age of 18 with a full licence and a minimum of 12 months driving experience. Roughly 74% said they probably could not pass a driving test while 92% admitted to those bad habits we previously mentioned. The bad habits include everything from distracted driving to having only one hand on the wheel.

According to Fleet News UK, the most often-mentioned bad habits were:

driving with one hand on the wheel

driving while using mobile phones, sat navs, etc.

driving while eating or drinking

running traffic lights

not fully paying attention.

Fleet Operator Concerns

As a fleet operator or a small business with company vehicles, this information should be alarming to you. Why? Let's do the maths. The survey revealed that 74% of the drivers believed they could not pass a driving test tomorrow. The 92% of those drivers who admitted to picking up bad habits account for just over 68% of the total number of survey respondents. That means more than two-thirds of the drivers on the road acknowledge doing things they shouldn't be doing behind the wheel.

We encourage regular licence checks among fleet operators for this very reason. Any one of the bad habits listed above could result in fines, penalty points, and even a driving ban. Fleet operators need to know this. They need to know if any of their drivers have run afoul of the law so that they can take remedial action.

Surveys like these serve as a stark reminder of the responsibility of driving. Perhaps we all need to brush up on our skills from time to time. Maybe we should be retaking the driving test on a regular basis, too.

Sources:

1.Fleet News UK – http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/company-car-tax-and-legislation/2017/02/23/three-in-four-britons-don-t-believe-they-would-pass-their-driving-test-again

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