I’m not a great fan of Jeremy Paxman and find his style of interviewing downright rude at times. Take the time he kept on and on at Michael Howard to answer the question. However, if you read the front page of last week’s BusinessCar you can see where he’s coming from at times.

The lead story is all about Government licence checking hypocrisy. Only one out of 21 Government departments follows best practice on driver licence checking and only 40% follow its own advice and check all ‘at work’ drivers’ licences.

When confronted with the findings, road safety minister Paul Clark responded via Department for Transport officials with the following: “Every death on the roads is a terrible tragedy but figures released last month show.” (answer the question). “While this news is encouraging, seven people are still dying on the roads every day.” (answer the question please). “We know that those who drive for work are over-represented in road accidents.” (answer the bloody question please!). “The Department also publishes good practice guidance.” (will you or will you not answer the bloody question please?). “.it is up to each employer to adopt those policies and practices which will best match the risks faced by their own employees.” (obviously you are not going to answer the question).

With no straight answer forthcoming and a declaration of a plan of action to turn around an appalling state of affairs, I now have far more sympathy with Mr Paxman.

BusinessCar has highlighted a very valid concern involving Government departments. The fact is that driver licence checking is very important if organisations are to meet their duty of care responsibilities. It is a key check all organisations should undertake to meet their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act and avoid potential prosecution under the UK Corporate Manslaughter (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and Corporate Homicide (Scotland) Act.

Only last week we had a businessman imprisoned for 22 months for killing a pedestrian while driving without a valid driving licence or insurance.

It beggars belief that this Government rams legislation down our throats like there is no tomorrow and yet fails to keep its own backyard in order. At the very least, it owes BusinessCar the courtesy of a proper answer to an important question and the will to get its own house in order. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the next person facing sentence for a similar offence to the one just mentioned is a public servant of some sort. Then how will the Government react to yet further public outrage and anger? Duty of Care and Corporate and Social Responsibility needs to rise up the Whitehall agenda, and fast.