Increasing the frequency of online licence checks for high-risk drivers should be an essential part of a fleet safety policy.
So says the Association for Driving Licence Verification as it also calls for increased checks across drivers as part of a risk-based ‘scaled response’ approach.
Under the approach, the ADLV says drivers with 0-3 points – a normal risk profile – should be checked bi-annually while those with 4-7 points – classed as medium risk – should undergo quarterly checks. And it adds that those with eight or more points should have monthly checks as a matter of best practice. This builds on guidelines by the Freight Transport Association and Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) which both recommend drivers should be checked at least bi-annually as a matter of course.
However, the ADLV said recent research shows some companies only run checks once a year, while many fleets run no follow-up checks, only checking documentation properly when new employees join
The association added that fleets should not rely on staff to declare penalties themselves and should also beware recent changes that mean increased penalties for hand-held mobile phone use behind the wheel, meaning that points can accrue quicker.
Mark Sugden, secretary of the ADLV, commented: “When someone’s job is on the line, the sad fact is that relying on trust simply isn’t enough. Indeed, a recent RAC Insurance survey discovered that only 13% of respondents would inform their employers of penalty points that they incurred, with 25% already having points that they had previously failed to disclose.
“Now that licence checks can easily be made online, there is no excuse not to automate and streamline the checking processes. This one move could contribute significantly to safer roads and fleets that ‘know their drivers’ better.”