Regular updates on Licence Link and licence checking

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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Smartphone Licences – A Licence to Share.

The DVLA has revealed plans that will enable the sharing of a driving licence on a smartphone. Another way of being able to enable validation of an entitlement to drive. But with fraudulently obtained or invalid driving licences already being used in the UK, will this new facility be vulnerable to identity thieves and fraudsters?

The DVLA has a dedicated Counter Fraud and Intelligence Team, tasked to identify and reduce any opportunity for fraud and corruption. The threats to businesses and individuals lie in the fact that driving licences are no longer just used to demonstrate an entitlement to drive but are also used as a primary identification document. As stated by the DVLA, this makes the driving licence a valuable asset for criminals to attempt to obtain, usually by providing false information or stealing someone else’s identity.

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Dealership Health Checks

A common practice for most dealerships is to offer a free Vehicle Health Check (VHC) service for customers. A service that checks the essential components and systems of a customer’s vehicle. Any urgent work on the vehicle can be detected and reported back to the customer. Would a similar health check be worth consideration for a dealership?

A VHC carried out on a customer’s vehicle when in the workshop for service, repair or recall is seen as a useful way of determining the condition of tyres, wheels, electrics, suspension and steering for example. A VHC form quite often uses a traffic light system in order to present the status of these components and systems. Red is seen as an urgent action required, amber as cautionary requires monitoring and green as no action required. At a glance, the customer can see the results and recommendations presented in the VHC form.

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New Penalties for Mobile Phone Usage When Driving or Riding.

The penalties for using a hand-held phone whilst driving or riding can be 6 penalty points and a £200 fine, a possible ban, a £1000 or £2500 (LGV/PCV) fine if taken to court, or a loss of licence if caught during 2 years after passing the driving Test. Will this significantly reduce the number of perpetrators?

The phenomenon of mobile devices, in particular, Smart phones, enables the user to participate in all kinds of communication and personal organisation. Connectivity with colleagues, friends and social media can send users into a frenzy of electronic activity of responding to emails, texts, missed calls and social media. A compulsive desire to know and engage in the activity even when there is a risk associated is a similar symptom to other types of dependencies exhibited by individuals with behavioural addictions.

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Drink Driving Trends – Checking Levels.

With the second in the series of offence trends, this time looking at drink driving, it can be graphically shown that December is not the only month in the year that this kind of endorsement spikes. Does this mean annual licence checking may not be sufficient?

Analysing the endorsement data for drink driving offences reveals some unexpected findings. December is typically targeted as a month where expectations for the seasonal holiday celebrations, result in a rise in drivers taking risks when driving whilst over the drink driving limit. The media and police authorities, rightly so, try to increase awareness of the risks associated and the dangers to road users and pedestrians.

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