POLITICS FEEDBACK: Online checks delayed
03 June 2009
The decision to 'postpone' the DVLA's online licence checking system for financial reasons to beyond 2010, could cost lives, writes Paul Barker
DVLA dumps electronic
Spending cuts have meant the end of the DVLA's plans to launch online licence checking. The system was due to be up and running by 2010 but has now been "postponed", according to the Government agency. The telephone, paper and electronic channels will continue to be used instead, although only available in office hours, as online checking wasn't deemed "business critical".
Once again it seems the Government authorities aren't talking to each other. The current best practice advice for employers allowing staff to drive on work business or use a company car is a DVLA licence check every six months to lower businesses road risk exposure.
If the Government is serious about reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads, surely they should be making it easier for business to do this, not make it harder by abandoning an electronic checking service. Saving lives must be worth the cost?
New nationwide park rules
Drivers parking across dropped kerbs or double parking will get a parking ticket, after new rules came into force this month.
The rules have already been in place in London for a number of years to help pedestrians with pushchairs or wheelchairs, and to stop people parking across driveways or access to property, but have now gone nationwide. Penalty Charge Notices will be issued without the need for additional signage.
Although fleets need to be aware of these new rules, it shouldn't increase the number of tickets drivers are receiving, unless they're parking inconsiderately in the first place.
EV Boris goes global
London Mayor Boris Johnson last month told other mayors from around the world how he sees London becoming a world leader in electric vehicle usage. Johnson is looking for 100,000 electric vehicles on the capital's streets as soon as possible, and is targeting 25,000 charging points by 2015.
The electric revolution is gathering pace by the week, and it's great to see that we have a degree of political support with regard to the all-important infrastructure issue. Vehicle manufacturers will be quicker to invest in the technology and help UK fleets come to terms with the changes if there is the political will to help. It's a shame, however, that the £5000 electric vehicle grants are still two years away.
Hidden away among the continuing MP's expenses scandal revealed by the Daily Telegraph were snippets such as Tatton MP George Osborne's £440 for a taxi journey from his Cheshire constituency back to London after an evening function.
Can you imagine any transport manager outside of the taxpayer-funded sector getting away with this sort of bill? Who on earth was signing off these things? Is there no set of guidelines for MPs' travel plans? Hopefully these issues won't get lost in the kafuffle over second homes, moats and dog food.