Regular updates on Licence Link and licence checking

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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Testimonials Trust and Procurement.

When an individual, business, organisation or service receives a formal recognition of their character, qualifications and experience, it demonstrates a high level of confidence and trust in the supplier. Not only that, but testimonials of this kind will assist others in their procurement process.

Recently Pinewood Technologies PLC, the provider and administrator of Licence Link, the online driver licence checking service received some additional testimonials from users of their service and in the interests of procurement thought that it would aid the process by just sharing some of the comments with all sectors large and small, where driving company cars or employing vocational drivers is concerned.

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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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Pinewood Technologies PLC and the ADLV.

Pinewood Technologies PLC, the provider, administrator and developer of Licence Link, the online licence checking service, became a member of the Association for Driving Licence Verification ADLV in 2014. Pinewood, a Microsoft Partner with multiple accreditations and certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 concerning Quality Management and Information Security was keen to be involved and be a forefront member of the ADLV. So what does this mean for Pinewood and Pinewood’s customers?

The ADLV’s membership ethos, as stated on their website is to:

continue to maintain and improve the current high standards already achieved, and bring impeccable knowledge and understanding of the complexities industry face when allowing employees or workers to drive on company business.

This echoes the principles held at Pinewood, where understanding customers’ requirements. setting high standards for quality, security and service dominate the processes and procedures of the business.

But becoming a member of the ADLV is taken very seriously, indeed the requirements of membership involve meeting a minimum standard of entry and the applicant must already be under contract with the DVLA Data Sharing Team.

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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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