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Regular updates on Licence Link and licence checking

Dedicated Versus Outsourced Services.

Outsourcing aspects of a business’s regular tasks are perceived to be a way of reducing cost, time and administration. On the surface, it seems to offer several advantages over in-house activities. But there can be aspects of risk associated with the concept. Where an outsourcing package bundles in inclusive Driving Licence Checking, how dedicated will that indirect service be?

Contracting an external business to supply previously in-sourced services is a recognised business practice. Taking shape during the 1990s this business strategy offered companies the opportunity to streamline and re-focus existing resources on the core business purpose. Releasing departments from administrative duties is seen to be an effective way of cost-cutting, reducing overhead costs including equipment, personnel, services and software. But over time disadvantages can be experienced where previously dedicated services can become somewhat diluted in the process.

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Electronic Declaration meets the DVLA Deadline

Licence Link announces their fully GDPR compliant Electronic Driver Declaration feature. With the DVLA deadline of the 25th of August 2018 for all drivers to declare approval for licence checking, regardless of previous consent, it could not come at a better time.

Fleet and HR Managers are obligated to ensure that their licence checking processes continue to be legal during the DVLA’s permissible transitional three month grace period and beyond. Migrating from the previous D796 Driving entitlement consent mandate to the new D906 Fair Processing Declaration has to be complete by the 25th of August 2018. Conscious of the pressure this puts on employers, Licence Link introduces the option to remove the necessity of having to send out mandates for completion by a driver.

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The Impact of Increased Speeding Fines.

From April 2017 speeding fines increased. The new rules established three Sentencing range bands A, B and C for speeds above specific speed limits. With Band C being the severest, with a disqualification from 7 to 56 days or 6 Points and a fine range of between 125% to 175% of the offender’s weekly income. Looking at endorsement data from 2016 and 2017 was there a significant detectable change?

The Sentencing Council’s published Speeding (Revised 2017) guidelines set out the steps for determining the offence seriousness. It includes a Fine Calculator allowing for input of Income, Band Fine Range, a stated Stating point income percentage and allowing for a Guilty plea allowance. The amount of fine is adjustable by the court attended or the enforcing police officer also allowing for mitigating circumstances, including previous convictions, the location of the offence and weather conditions, adding to or subtracting from the penalty.

DVLA Freedom of information requests made by Licence Link obtained offence data for 2016 and 2017. Comparing and analysing the data graphically shows the impact of the revised guidelines.

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The Importance of Up To Date Information.

Being able to anticipate critical events and proactively take action in order to limit any potential risk associated with those events, requires information that is authentic, accurate and up to date. When lacking information exhibiting these three attributes, analysis and reporting will be unreliable.

Technology has provided the means to be able to store massive amounts of data. Tools have been developed that provide the functionality to organise, sort, interrogate and query this data. All kinds of analysis can be done in order to discover trends, patterns, behaviour and preferences. Importantly it can be used to predict and alert. But such powerful databases and toolsets become useless if the data is defective or neglected.

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The UK Professional LGV Driver Shortage.

The average age of LGV drivers is currently 53. The shortfall in LGV drivers by 2020 has been estimated to be 150,000. It is not good news then that over the last 20 years there has been a 40% decline in teenagers learning to drive. What are the reasons for this and how can this trend be reversed?

Exacerbating the problem is the fact that in 2019 many CPC holders, where their DQC cards expire, may choose to retire rather than renew their cards. So this is very much a candle being burned at both ends, where the young are not considering driving at all, never mind as a vocation and the existing senior and experienced vocational drivers are considering the option of retirement or taking on a less demanding occupation.

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Just in Time and the UK Supply Chain.

The concept of supplying food and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) using the Just In Time (JIT) methodology has caused many to reflect upon what could happen if there was an interruption in supply. The more extreme and sensationalist commentators have suggested that an interruption in supply and distribution of more than 3 days would see supermarket shelves empty; that we are only nine meals from anarchy.

But every process involves risks at differing levels. Identifying where systems can fail is all part of processes involving risk analysis, assessment, management and system control. Worst case scenarios like those suggested above will form part of the analysis in order to reduce the risk of such eventualities.

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A Reflection upon Driver Eyesight Testing.

It has been suggested that on expiry of the Driving Licence Photocard, that a mandatory eyesight test for renewal should be required. Already a requirement for renewal of a LGV/PCV vocational licence and with 70-year-old drivers having to declare if their eyesight has deteriorated, should the call for every driver to have a vision assessment every ten years be legislated?

There is evidence to support this both by the huge costs of road accidents and the number of casualties caused by the drivers with poor eyesight. A previous estimate is a cost of £33 million with 2900 causalities in one year. Also, statistics reveal that there are approximately 75% of the adult population of the UK requiring eyesight correction with 25% of drivers admitting to not having an eyesight test for more than two years. Considering that a decline in eyesight of up to 40% of visual acuity can occur before people notice the deterioration, is the argument for driver eyesight testing irrefutable?

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Reviewing Licence Checking Costs and Risks for the New Financial Year.

For those involved with driving licence checking, the next few weeks before the new financial year is a good time to take a retrospective review of the current financial year’s licence checking activities. This will help to identify the budget and the risk reduction actions required for 2018/19.

Taking a look at historic data is the first part of a systematic approach towards preparing for eventualities that will occur in the approaching financial year. The data will identify the trends that occurred and the costs involved in the previous year. But also looking at the current status of the data, will facilitate the pre-planning for upcoming driving licence alerts, such as convictions, licence expiries, consent renewals and drivers approaching disqualification.

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Exchanging to a GB Driving Licence – The Benefits.

Vocational non-GB licensed drivers are expected to register their driving licence with the DVLA within 12 months of taking up residence within Great Britain. Once registered the DVLA will issue a ‘Confirmation of Registration Document’ (D91). However, for their employers, an electronic licence check is not currently available within the DVLA.

So what steps can be taken to ensure that these employees are entitled to drive for work purposes? The first step for employers is to ensure that the non-GB licensed driver is in possession of a D91. The next step is to do a licence check. This is where the convenience of electronically checking is absent and a premium rate phone call to the DVLA’s Driver Check Service (09061 39 38 37) is required with consent from the driver. Repeating the steps for any ongoing frequency checks. The administrative burden of this could be alleviated if the driver is willing to do an exchange for a GB issued licence.

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Company Car Drivers – Is there a risk?

A recent survey has suggested that many drivers, up to a third, are unaware of the speed limits of the UK road network. A surprising amount when considering that there are almost a million Company Car drivers.

The survey identified amongst those drivers, that the general speed limits of dual carriageways and motorways were at best vague and at worst unknown. New and younger drivers fared better in the survey, perhaps because understanding the rules detailed in the Highway Code are a necessity for passing the driving test, where The Highway Code becomes an invaluable reference and study guide for all new motorists. But how often after the driving test is it reviewed? How many motorists have a copy at hand or review it online?

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