The number of driving licence checks being undertaken by fleet software market leader CFC Solutions has quadrupled in the last year as fleet interest in the issue continues to grow.
The company says that its Licence Link product – which checks with the DVLA database online to see whether drivers have any convictions – has become its fastest adopted software in more than 30 years of trading.
Neville Briggs, managing director at CFC, said: "Since the launch of Licence Link 12 months ago, the level of interest we have seen in the issue of licence checking by fleets has snowballed very rapidly.
"What seems to be happening is that employers are recognising that ensuring drivers have the licences and points which they claim is an essential part of any risk effective management policy.
"It is something that fleets are taking seriously and so a product like Licence Link, which essentially automates the task of licence checking, is an obvious solution. It is part of the ongoing process of fleets becoming more risk aware."
In the general fleet sector, CFC’s experience with Licence Link shows that 20% of drivers have between 3-11 points on their licence while one per cent have 11 points.
Briggs continued: "Our general findings – that one in five drivers has points on their licence – underlines the importance of employers undertaking regular licence checks. These drivers represent a higher risk than the norm.
"Also, the finding that one in a hundred drivers is just a point away from losing their licence is noteworthy. By identifying these drivers, employers can take remedial steps to try and improve their level of risk such as targeted training."
Individual cases highlighted by Licence Link include a driver who had an undeclared full driving ban and another who declared a full licence but only held a provisional one.
Briggs said: "Thankfully, the number of drivers highlighted by Licence Link who should not be driving at all has been low but we have found a number of worrying instances.
"Sometimes these employees are acting maliciously by, for example, not declaring a ban because they know they will lose their job. At other times, they made an inadvertent mistake by perhaps being confused over which classes of vehicle they can drive.
"However, in all cases, they represented a risk management issue to their employer."
Free to adopt, Licence Link is designed to help all employers simplify the routine task of regularly checking car and van driver licence information through a web based system – something made essential by the recent introduction of risk management legislation.
Once basic driving licence information is entered onto Licence Link, fleet managers can choose how often automatic checks are made with the DVLA database – for example, annually for low mileage drivers or more often for high mileage, high risk employees.
Risk summary reports will automatically group drivers into different levels of risk group – for example, those with 1-3, 4-7, 8-12 and 12 plus points, and Licence Link can be set up so that those with higher numbers of points are checked more often.
Automatic alerts are sent to the fleet manager if the DVLA checks show changes to endorsements, the categories of vehicle that an employee is allowed to drive or if there are critical licence events such as disqualification or a photo card expiring.
Further features in Licence Link include the ability to upload and store document scans against each driver record, such as an image of each driver’s licence and driver declarations. These files are held online and encrypted for security purposes.
Access to Licence Link is via a credit payment scheme. To run checks, a company buys credits in advance and as each licence check is made, the system displays the credits remaining, providing a constant balance reminder for the fleet manager.