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YOUNG AT HEART: The serious issue of licence checking

Date: 14 July 2009

Tristan Young is Editor-in-chief of BusinessCar

Licence checking is one of the recurring themes I come across when either chatting to those involved in running business cars or attending fleet conferences.

These fleet managers, and businesses in general, are continually being told by the Government that safety is paramount and more must be done because Labour is aiming to make Britain's roads the safest in the world. And part of this is that licence checking is the most basic of safety checks for business drivers.

That's why BusinessCar asked a broad range of Government departments and agencies what they do in this respect - to see if the Government is practicing what it preaches.

As BusinessCar discovered, the level of licence checking within Government is, in general, woeful.

If the trend discovered in this research is prevalent across the entire civil service, the number of unlicensed and therefore uninsured drivers on our roads could be scarily high.

However, it was the DfT's response when shown the data that we found the most incredible. It was as if they were having a go at other departments when they said: "We encourage all employers to take an active role in reducing the risks faced by workers who drive as part of their job. but it is up to each employer to adopt those policies and practices."

It sounds cheesy, but my hope from doing this research is that it may just save a life or two because a few more businesses take their unlicenced drivers off the road.