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Smart motorways could catch more fleet drivers speeding

The growing use of smart motorways across the UK will increase the need for regular driver licence checking because of the increased capture of speeding events.

Richard Brown, director of sales at Licence Check

Richard Brown, director of sales at Licence Check

So says Richard Brown, director of sales at fleet driver licence and compliance specialist Licence Check, as he points to such motorways’ reliance on Advanced Traffic Management (ATMs) system cameras.

The permanent 24-hour ATM smart cameras are live constantly and not just when a lower speed than the national limit is showing on the overhead gantry. The ATM system incorporates automatic ticket generation that logs the registration number of any speeding vehicle and issues a speeding ticket.

“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,” said Brown.

Speed limits displayed inside a red circle on overhead signs are legally enforceable. If no signs are displayed, the national speed limit applies to these areas of the motorway. Drivers caught by the system face fines of up to £2,500, based on income, and up to six points on their licence. Speeds over 90mph could lead to automatic disqualification.

Brown added that the advent of increasing stretches of smart motorways meant that companies may need to look at the frequency of licence checking to ensure that drivers still have the entitlement to drive and have not amassed too high levels of points or other convictions on their licences.

“We always advise our clients to look at the type of vehicle being driven and the nature of the driving. 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,” he said.

“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.

“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 added.

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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.