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Regular updates on Licence Link and licence checking

Driving Through the EU and AETR Territories.

In order to drive through the European Union and non-EU countries that are signatories of the AETR (Accord Européen sur les Transports Routiers) the driver must be in possession of a valid digital tachograph card (Driver Card). The adopted driving time limits, breaks and rest periods rules have to be adhered to and recorded. Let’s take a brief look at the Driver Card.

Since the 1st of May 2006, all new vehicles that come under the EU or AETR rules on driver’s hours must be fitted with a digital tachograph called the Vehicle Unit (VU). This is a recording device that stores driver and vehicle data relating to driving activities and vehicle data including speeds and distance travelled. The tachometer will record the driving activities onto the Driver Card, storing up to 28 days of data.

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Winter Driving Conditions – Risk Awareness.

Winter days, being shorter, with colder, darker morning and evening commutes are heralds of increased road journey risk for all road users. This is a season of the year where a driver must increase awareness, focus and vehicle control in order to avoid being involved in an incident.

Statistics show an increase of drink driving offences in the winter months, but it is not just alcohol that affects focus and control when driving a vehicle. There are other considerations such as the impact of driving when tired, driving directly after a large meal or driving at times when others may be about to depart from a celebratory occasion. It is a wise precaution to be aware that risk increases during this time where a combination of seasonal traditional activities added to darker mornings and nights, colder, maybe icy conditions can lead to situations that require fast and immediate reactions.

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PCV and LGV Vocational Licence Requirements.

Driving passenger carrying or large goods vehicles for hire or reward requires a valid driving licence category and a Certificate of Professional Competence. The CPC Driver Qualification Card or DQC is valid for five years. But how long is a vocational driving licence valid for and what are the requirements?

The third European Directive on driving licences came into force in the UK on the 19th of January 2013. It introduced a common licence type throughout the European Union with harmonised licence categories and entitlement validity dates. For passenger carrying and large goods vehicles, the directive for vocational driving licence categories of D, DE, D1, D1E, C, CE, C1 or C1E, introduced the requirements for medical checks and specific age related renewal periods.

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The Public Sector Machine – Helping to Reduce Costs

The published 2017 spring budget Public Sector government spending and revenue for 2017-18 shows a spending total of £820 billion and a receipts total of £744 billion. As of March 2017, the Public Sector net debt stood at a colossal £1830 billion. The need for increased efficiency and cost savings is obvious when it is considered that this period’s debt payments alone will top £46 billion.

With 5.424 million employees as of March 2017, the Public Sector employs 17% of all employed workers in the UK. This is a massive enterprise and where a debt payment is almost the same as the current level of borrowing it is in the interest of every one to encourage thrift and supplier change where cost savings can be made, in order to keep this colossal machine running.

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New Drivers and the Level of Experience.

Studies have shown that one in five new drivers are involved in an accident during their first year of driving. That many have their licences cancelled after totting up 6 or more penalty points within the first two years. Lack of experience can be exacerbated by overconfidence or nervousness. This first year of driving is where the new novice driver learns to drive.

The basics of vehicle control can be mastered within around 15 hours of tuition and practice. Passing the driving test, although an elation, is just the beginning of the driver learning process. The novice driver has yet to develop the skills of hazard awareness and anticipation. Understanding and responding to other road users behaviours only comes with experience. This is a period of risk that should be understood by employers of newly qualified company car drivers.

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Licence holder age group driving offences – Analysing the data.

Analysis of Age Group related driving offence data is a useful way of managing driving for work duty of care risk. Knowing what age groups are most prone to speeding, careless driving and dangerous driving, can provide an insight into the tendencies of age related driver behaviour.

The four data sets discussed in this article start with the driving licence holder age totals where the age group with the most number of licence holders is seen to be the 45 to 54 grouping. One would assume automatically that this group would be the most at risk due to sheer numbers. This indeed is the case where speeding offences are considered.

Interestingly though, if a percentage of the total drivers caught speeding and the number of licenced drivers within an age group is taken, those in the 35 to 45 age group have a higher percentage of offenders to licence holders; ≈ 1.94% compared with ≈ 1.87% for the age group 45 to 54.

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A brief look at the Working Time Directive.

Introduced in the UK in 1998, the Working Time Directive (WTD) in association with the existing UK workplace health and safety legislation fundamentally encouraged the decline in long-hours working. What impact has the directive had? Do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages?

The WTD was introduced into the EU in 1993. Intended to regulate the number of hours employees spend at work. The primary purpose was to protect the health and safety of individuals engaged in full-time employment. Five years later, it became UK law, with the regulation being seen as controversial in its perceived attempts to constrict the economic growth of the UK employer and employee.

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The Benefits of Driver Assessment – Putting the Pieces Together.

For LGV and PCV drivers, the Certificate of Professional Competence requires drivers to do 35 hours training every 5 years. Taking CPC as an example why not have ongoing assessments for all drivers?

Assessing drivers abilities and attitudes to driving can be of significant help to the employee and employer. The qualities of a good driver are derived by attitude, skills and knowledge. Using data to evaluate the driver profile identifies the areas where training and education is required. When all qualities fit together there can be some interesting cost benefits.

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Summertime Driving Trends – Do Endorsements Cool Down?

Comparing the number of endorsements, for every type of offence, in December, July and August, demonstrates the necessity of ensuring that drivers remain entitled to drive. The July and August statistics show that endorsement numbers are similar and higher during the summer holiday period to those recorded in December. Is there a need to increase driver licence checking during this holiday season?

The summertime is often the time to take a holiday, relax and regenerate. Warmer weather, lighter and longer days with schools closed and some factories still closing down for the July and August two week break, one would conclude that the roads would be less busy and therefore the knock on effect would be fewer road accidents and fewer driving offences. With no national celebrations like Christmas or Easter during this period, the temptation to over indulge should also be less.

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Driver Distraction, Inattention or Fatigue.

In a second of time and at 30mph a vehicle will cover a distance of around 13 metres. This second can pass without incident or add to the estimated statistic that around 75% of accidents or near accidents are caused by the contribution of distraction, inattention or fatigue.

Most drivers, at some time in their journey, will encounter a situation that requires an immediate response. Looking ahead and evaluating the speed, direction and proximity of the vehicle are all dependent upon how we process the visual and auditory input. Risk, assessment and corresponding required actions in response are expected in all driving situations. Being alert and aware at all times of the ongoing road conditions is mandatory for the avoidance of collisions with other road users.

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