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Fleets must remain compliant during lockdown, says Licence Bureau

Date: 24 April 2020   |   Author: Simon Harris

Licence Bureau is calling on businesses supporting the frontline in the battle against Covid-19 to use the temporary changes in certain transport policies wisely, while ensuring their drivers and vehicles remain compliant.

With various temporary changes to transport legislation put in place by government during the UK's partial lockdown, Licence Bureau is encouraging all businesses to ensure they not only stick to the letter of the law of the new policies and maintain stringent records of activity, but that they continue to adhere to their duty of care obligations as employers.

The organisation says this is especially relevant to those businesses, such as home delivery operators and key supply hauliers, who have witnessed a significant rise in demand for their services since the UK went into partial lockdown on 23 March.

With capacity stretched in many cases with drivers working longer hours and vehicles in constant use, Licence Bureau is warning businesses to be extra vigilant in documenting the health and condition of their core assets.

Temporary changes to legislation made by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) during the pandemic period include: a six-month extension to car, van or motorcycle MOTs due on or after 30 March 2020; a three month MOT exemption to HGVs, trailers and Public Service Vehicles whose annual safety test certificate was about to expire; a relaxation of Drivers' Hours rules; changes to Driver CPC requirements including approval of online training; and, for those drivers whose driving licence expires in 2020, the availability of temporary 12-month licences without the need to submit a D4 medical report.

"There is an awful lot to take in for any business operating a fleet of vehicles right now," explained Licence Bureau, sales director, Steve Pinchen, "but the guidance is all available via the website.

"One critical aspect amongst all of this is to continue to ensure compliance and within that falls a duty of care.

"Not only are we urging all businesses to follow government advice, but we are too advocating two key areas: driver wellbeing and vehicle safety checks.

"All driver and vehicle records must be up to the minute, and any business should be looking very closely at this to ensure they continue to operate in a compliant fashion. Now is not the time to let these stringent controls slip.

"Secondly, and it's a point which we echo from government, every business and driver has a duty of care to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive. With the extra utilisation some of these vehicles are currently experiencing, consistent and more regular safety checks are a must."

Licence Bureau says it is continuing to work closely with its client base - providing its typical compliance services but also assisting those to navigate the temporary changes to legislation and preparing for when the current restrictions are relaxed.

Pinchen said: "We are here to help and are working alongside our partners to support them through this challenging time. I would advise anyone who is unsure to get in contact."

Supporting the changes in legislation, Licence Bureau parent company TTC Group is now delivering its JAUPT (Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training) approved Driver CPC courses and core fleet manager courses online.