At Fleet Licence Check, it may seem as if we always repeat ourselves about the need for companies to check the driving licences of the workers operating company vehicles. Yet there is a very good reason we do this. Running afoul of the law can quickly become a nightmare due to complicated regulations, lack of cooperation, and downright ignorance. A recent case from Surrey provides a perfect illustration.
AOL News reports that a 70-year-old pensioner from Oxted was pulled over by police while driving through East Sussex. Upon running a driving licence check, the police discovered the man's licence had expired. The driver was completely unaware of the problem, telling police he did not know it was necessary to renew a driver's licence after the age of 70. The car was impounded, and the man was given 14 days to pay the fines and collect his car.
A series of indescribable and inexplicable problems arose that prevented the man from collecting his car within the 14-day window. Not only could he not retrieve the car or have a friend do so, he was not even allowed to send a tow truck to collect the car and bring it to his house. Upon expiration of the 14-day window, the police chose to crush the car. All for an expired driving licence.
The police are standing by the decisions they made throughout the process. They lay the blame squarely at the feet of the driver who, they say, should have known his licence had expired. According to AOL News, it is not as simple as that. They claim that DVLA estimates suggest as many as 2 million motorists in the UK are driving with expired licences. It is apparently not due to a desire to break the law, but to ignorance. Some 10 million drivers have no idea when their driving licence expires, nor do they know that a licence must be renewed every ten years until age 70.
How This Affects You
The Surrey case provides a good illustration of the administrative bureaucracy that permeates every layer of the driving licence system. While it is an extreme case, it illustrates that nothing is beyond the realm of possibility when dealing with the police or the DVLA over driving licence issues. You cannot afford to take a risk with your company vehicles. Your company or fleet manager needs to always know exactly where his/her drivers stand. This is why we recommend licence checking on a regular schedule.
Having a company vehicle seized due to one of your drivers being pulled over with an expired licence presents you with a tremendous amount of hassle that you do not need. You can avoid the trouble by regularly checking driving licences. Fleet Licence Check can help you by way of our licence checking service. We have direct access to the DVLA database for timely and up-to-date information. We also offer claims processing services for motoring companies across the UK.
1.AOL News – http://money.aol.co.uk/2015/06/08/oaps-car-crushed-as-punishment-for-small-slip-up/