New figures reported by fleet software market leader CFC Solutions suggest that licence checking could be affecting real world driver behaviour by making it safer in less than a year.
A report from CFC produced last November showed that around one in five company car and van drivers tested through their Licence Link software had points on their licence. Updated figures this week show that this has fallen to closer to one in seven.
Neville Briggs, managing director, said that combined with anecdotal information from fleets using Licence Link, there was a strong suggestion that the act of licence checking was actively making drivers more cautious on the road.
He explained: "What fleet managers are saying to us is that the process of checking makes drivers face up to the consequences of having points on their licence. This is especially true of drivers who already have points and fall into higher risk categories.
"Obviously, there is a time lag involved with this effect because of the years that it can take for points to be removed from a licence but the feedback we are receiving suggests that introducing structured checking helps to stop new offences occurring.
"For the driver, licence checking hits home the fact that there is a direct link between how you behave behind the wheel of your company vehicle and how you are perceived by your employer – and even whether you keep your job if you lose your licence."
Briggs said that even allowing for changes in the sample size of fleets using Licence Link as the product had gained popularity, there were definite improvements in the number of drivers being found to have points.
He said: "The percentage of drivers with no points has increased from 80% to 85% while those with nine or more points has fallen from 1.0% to just 0.5%. We believe that these are meaningful half year changes."
A further trend noticed by CFC is that Licence Link is being vieweby its users as a general risk management improvement tool rather than a simple checking device.
Briggs explained: "What we have found is that many fleets adopting Licence Link view it not just as a monitoring system that looks at driving licences but something that creates impetus within their organisations to really get to grips with fleet risk management.
"As part of this, we are increasingly being asked for risk management advice in a wider context, and this has also helped to promote sales of our general fleet software, which creates improvements in this key area through a whole range of tools and reports."