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3 October 2008

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Tighten up policies for driving at work

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Leading Employment lawyer Tim Thompson from Hegarty LLP Solicitors in Peterborough is encouraging employers to tighten up their driving at work policies in light of the Corporate Manslaughter Act that came into effect in April 2008.

Mr Thompson commented, “According to the Government 150 crashes occur every day involving vehicles driving for work. The Corporate Manslaughter Act gives an alternative route for prosecution other than on the grounds of health and safety which is normally used for fatal accidents on the road.

"As it is expected that a prosecution for corporate manslaughter will result in bad press coverage, employers need to ensure they tighten up their driving procedures.”

Employers of fleet vehicles usually already have in place stringent policies regarding driving at work, but the following checklist should be considered for employers whose workers occasionally use vehicles for the purpose of work:

  • Check driving licences not only at the start of the employment but at regular intervals perhaps every six or twelve months. This also allows you to monitor if the driver is a higher risk as they may have had points added to their licence.

  • For employees who use their own vehicles ask them to annually supply a copy of their current MOT certificate, car insurance details and check that it is covered for business use.

  • Check your company policy regarding the use of mobile phones whilst driving.

  • Compile a handbook for all employees who use a vehicle for work outlining the driver’s responsibilities and the procedures such as the action to take in the event of an accident.

  • Consider asking employees to annually sign a document confirming they are medically fit to drive and they must advise of any treatment or conditions that could impact on their ability to drive.

“Relying on an employee to tell you the truth about having a valid driving licence and their car being insured and road worthy is really no longer acceptable. I realise these changes will mean more work for employers, but companies will need to show an audit trail to help protect themselves against a future corporate manslaughter charge,” said Mr Thompson.

May 2008 - Peterborough UK Community Website




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