Smart motorways 'will increase need for regular licence checking'
29 January 2019
Author: Sean Keywood
The growing number of speed camera-equipped smart motorways in the UK will increase the need for regular driving licence checks by fleets, due to the increase risk of drivers being caught speeding.
That's according to Richard Brown, director of sales at Licence Check, the fleet driver licence and compliance firm, which is now part of online solutions provider Ebbon-Dacs following a strategic acquisition at the end of last year.
He has warned that, with cameras active 24 hours a day and not just when a lower speed limit is displayed, and automatic ticket generation employed, drivers cannot afford lapses in concentration, and managers must be vigilant.
He said: "Smart motorways are the future and the means by which the authorities will regulate traffic flow - which means greater surveillance of drivers.
"As a consequence, drivers will have to be more attentive and aware of speed limits at all times. Lapses in concentration could cost them their licence or increase their risk profile with their employer.
"Drivers could notch up sufficient penalty points for possible disqualification on just a single journey if they are not continually aware and do not observe motorway speed limits, increasing the onus on fleet managers to check their licences on a more frequent basis. Annually is no longer sufficient."
Brown said that Licence Check always advised clients to consider the type of vehicle being driven and the nature of the driving.
He explained: "For example, with vocational driving where goods or passengers are being carried, our recommendation is in line with the Traffic Commissioner's advice, which is to check licences four times a year.
"For high mileage drivers, we would also advocate four checks per annum because they are a higher risk category of drivers.
"For company car drivers where driving is part of their job, we would generally recommend carrying out at least two checks a year and, for more casual users, once a year.
"Clearly, employers at all times should consider a risk-based approach to licence checking."
Brown added that companies should also not forget to check grey fleet drivers, especially as the numbers of these are rising.
"Grey fleet drivers should be checked as regularly as if they were company drivers, including confirmation that they have the correct business class insurance which is often overlooked," he said.