New figures released by the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) show an ‘alarming’ rise in the number of drivers in the UK who are having their licences revoked, increasing the need for companies to be increasingly diligent and ensure driving licences are checked regularly.
That’s the view from Derby-based Licence Check, now part of online solutions provider, Ebbon-Dacs, and now officially the UK’s fastest growing provider of fleet licence checking and compliance services. New figures from the DVLA have revealed that the company carried out a record number of licence checks in 2018, with the numbers rising steadily throughout the year and the fourth quarter of the year finishing 52% higher than the first in terms of licences checked.
To analyse the number of licences being revoked annually, Licence Check applied to the DVLA under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The resultant figures confirmed that in the last four years there has been a 33.5% increase in the number of drivers who had their licence revoked under the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995.
In 2015 the figure was just 7,944, but by the end of last year it had risen to 11,953, with an 8% increase between 2017 and 2018, further reinforcing the need for regular licence checks.
The freedom of information figures also revealed that the number of car and motorcycle drivers who had had their driving entitlement revoked or refused for medical reasons was 61,482, an increase of 4% over 2017, and up 29% when compared with 2015..
At the same time, the number of lorry or bus drivers who had also had their driving entitlement revoked or refused for medical reasons had increased from 11,213 in 2017 to 12,242 in 2018, a rise of 9.2%.
Meanwhile, the number of drivers with 12 or more penalty points on their licences is also on the increase. In July last year, there were 10,978 drivers with 12 or more penalty points recorded on their current driver record. By the end of March this year, that figure had risen to 11,150, a 1.6% rise in less than six months.
Terry Hiles, General Manager at Licence Check, said: “Firstly, we are delighted with the increase in the numbers of licences we are checking annually, which have now reached record levels.
“However, putting that achievement to one side, employers should be increasingly concerned by the growing number of drivers having their licences revoked and the increase in the numbers amassing more than the 12 point maximum over the last four years.
“Companies need to be increasingly on their guard to ensure that they are not employing drivers who have had their licence revoked in the last year or have exceeded the 12 point disqualification ceiling. The continuing upward trend in both cases requires a robust and focussed process to identify and properly manage work related road risks.
“We have already seen that there are a growing number of drivers in the UK who may be driving on foreign licences under reciprocal arrangements with the UK authorities, and these new statistics underline the need for companies to remain vigilant at all times.”
Hiles said companies needed to ensure that licence checks are carried out frequently and automated where possible to avoid any missed checks. Frequency of checks will depend on a variety of factors.
Licence Check’s main cloud-based Driver and Vehicle Information Solution brand, DAVIS, has been designed specifically to tackle exactly these issues and to provide companies with the necessary information about their drivers.
Within DAVIS is the award-winning Driver Risk Score feature which analyses all company drivers, profiling them as low, medium or high risk using results of a licence check, along with other factors.
Recently DAVIS has additional functionality within its Fleet File module that includes a new accident recording feature which will allow users to document accidents against a specific fleet vehicle and link the incident to a specific named driver, thus providing greater insight into the most at-risk drivers as forming part of an ongoing risk management process.
The new accident management function, which was unveiled at the Commercial Vehicle Show recently records date, time and location of the accident and provides enhanced dashboard reporting to include recent accidents and accident severity.
At the same time, this can be used to contribute to the risk scoring software algorithm so that a driver’s individual risk score is automatically updated.
“These latest figures confirm that licence checking and risk assessment are an essential part of any company’s armoury under various pieces of duty of care legislation. Regular checks, with the frequency dependent on the risk profile of the drivers concerned, are of fundamental importance to a company’s security and wellbeing,” added Terry Hiles.