Will Your Fleet Land Points On YOUR Licence?!
Have you ever read the Road Traffic Act of 1988/1991 in all its detail?
We’re willing to bet you haven’t, and if you tried, there’s a decent chance you fell asleep during the task.
Reading pages and pages of laws isn’t exactly at the top of most people’s bucket lists, but there’s a good reason why fleet managers should keep up to date on exactly what these laws are.
Not only is it part of responsible fleet management, but it’ll also make sure you know exactly what your responsibilities are, and the potential risks that can arise if you don’t take those responsibilities seriously.
“Cause or permit to drive”
There’s a phrase used in the act – “cause or permit to drive” – and it’s that phrase that encapsulates your role as a fleet manager.
Effectively it means that as a fleet manager, you could face penalty points incurred by your drivers, because you take ultimate responsibility for their vehicle.
Yes, that’s actual points on your actual, personal licence.
And you don’t get away with it if you run a grey fleet either – the Act indicates that it doesn’t make a difference who owns the vehicle; what matters is where the responsibility for the vehicle lies, and if an employee is using a vehicle for work purposes, then a significant chunk of that liability lies with you.
“Dual penalty recipient” – the offences that can cost you points
There are various offences that can result in both you and your driver receiving points and fines, and these points remain on your licence for four years from the date of the offence.
A major offence stipulated in the Traffic Act is “causing or permitting using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks”; this can result in six to eight penalty points, and by its very nature, implicates you, as someone responsible for the insurance of the vehicle.
Similarly, there are other offences that can land you pounds, from using a mobile phone while driving, through to having ‘defective tyres’.
Whilst it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that these offences must be 100% the responsibility of the driver, this is not the case, and what’s clear is that these sorts of penalties have been rising in recent years.
Beyond Points – Why You Shouldn’t Ignore This
It would be very easy to look at what’s happening and skirt over it, but the truth is that the long term ramifications for other aspects of your fleet management could well be impacted by this issue.
From increased insurance premiums for the business, through to the potential loss of your personal licence, this is no joke, and requires fleets to put in place both training to mitigate this risk, as well as a strategy for dealing with any potential issues that arise from offences.
If you'd like to chat through how to develop a plan to combat this problem, then we'd be more than happy to help - just give us a call and we can talk it all through.