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Regular updates on Licence Link and licence checking

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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Adding Value to Driving Licence Checking

When added value is experienced when using a product or service that performs beyond expectations, it can often lead to testimonials, referrals and repeated business.

The concept of ensuring that employed drivers are safe and legal to drive on behalf of their employers has been made significantly easier with the advent of the DVLA’s Access to Driver Data (ADD) service and online licence checking services. The provision of risk reduction and providing help for duty of care requirements is at the heart of Licence Link. But what else does Licence Link do to add value to the already valued service they provide?

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Braking news – Driving and the Environment.

Excessive speed often ends with excessive braking leading to accidents or as in many cases, driving licence endorsements. But what many drivers fail to consider is the impact that they are causing to health and the environment.

Under normal braking conditions, a vehicle releases tyre and brake wear material into the air, so small that the particulate matter (PM) can be inhaled, adding considerably to urban air toxicity. It has been stated as an estimate that up to 55% of total brake wear and up to 10% of tyre wear emitted becomes airborne with the remaining percentages being deposited on the road, roadside or deposited on the vehicle, such as the vehicle’s wheels and wheel arches.

New taxes are being imposed in order to try to help reduce air pollution but are targeting the types of fuel used rather than looking at the total pollution a vehicle outputs. Previously councils embarked upon traffic calming measures such as speed bumps and chicanes but there is an argument that these only lead to further air pollution due to repeated acceleration and braking. It is worthwhile considering the causes of PM and identifying ways that can help to reduce it.

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Licence Link – Stepping towards the GDPR.

Protecting Data is currently covered by the UK Data Protection Act 1998. On the 25th of May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation GDPR will replace the DPA. Licence Link, the on-line licence checking service is primed and making ready for the change.

The ownership of personal data is very clear. It belongs to the person and not to any business or organisation that holds it. This is the tenet of the General Data Protection Regulation and it makes clear that without an individual’s verifiable consent for holding and using their data, it will be considered a breakage of the law. The regulation comes into effect on the 25th May 2018 and will not be affected by the UK leaving the EU. Where can businesses and organisations go for help and information, and what steps should be taken in order to comply with the new regulation?

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Expired Photocard Driving Licences – What is the Risk?

“As at 18 November 2017, there were 3,391,737 drivers with a full or provisional driving licence where the photograph has expired.” This quote is taken from a Freedom of Information Request (FOIR6454) on behalf of Licence Link. What is the best approach to take in order to establish the number of employed vocational and company car drivers that fall into this category?

The photocard driving licence, by law has to be renewed every 10 years. The expiry date is shown on the front of the card in section 4b. Once expired the holder can be fined up to £1000. The ten-year expiry is due to the fact the appearance of the holder will change over that period of time and the requirement is that the photo must be a true likeness.

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