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Fleet managers getting penalty points for employee driving offences

Fleet managers – and anyone else responsible for fleets – are being warned of the risk of incurring penalty points for employee driving offences under little-known legislation.

Steve Pinchen, sales director at Licence Bureau

Steve Pinchen, sales director at Licence Bureau

The warning comes from Licence Bureau as it highlights the much-misunderstood ‘cause or permit to drive’ legislation which means that even though the initial offence was committed by a third party, it was ultimately the fleet manager’s responsibility. And it says it’s witnessing an increasing number of such cases being recorded on its system.

According to the Road Traffic Act 1988/1991, ownership of a vehicle involved in an offence is irrelevant, implicating both owned business fleet and grey fleet operators. The Act also cites that causing or permitting driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence can incur three to six points with fine up to £1,000.

It’s these points that can be added to the personal driving licence for the ‘person responsible for the fleet’ – and can remain for four years.

At present, the majority of these ‘dual penalty recipient’ offences recorded on Licence Bureau’s system relate to ‘causing or permitting using a vehicle uninsured against third-party risks’ – an offence which carries six to eight penalty points.

But other offences recorded on Licence Bureau’s system include ‘using a vehicle with defective tyres’ which carries three penalty points for each individual implicated, and ‘using a mobile phone while driving a motor vehicle’ which carries three to six penalty points.

Steve Pinchen, sales director of Licence Bureau, said the rule has very serious implications indeed for individuals and businesses alike.

“Those responsible for business fleets – of any scale – really do need to do their homework and ensure that they have all bases covered when it comes to compliance. Not only that, but there is a cultural aspect here too where everyone must be attuned to minimising road safety risk.’

Pinchen continued: “Beyond the actual penalty points there are the knock-on implications for elevated risk profiles within the business and what that might mean for insurance premiums; professional and personal impacts for fleet managers; as well as potential for reputational damage for the company.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.