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Banned Drivers: Why Licence Checks are so Important

Posted: Friday, 20 January 2017

It would be both foolish and unreasonable to expect that UK roads are always free of banned drivers. Having said that, you might be surprised by the number of guilty people on the roads. Driving without a licence is a serious problem that data show is only getting worse. And according to police officials, we're all at risk.

From time to time, we speak with fleet operators who don't really see the necessity for regular licence checks. Perhaps if they knew some of the statistics, they would think again. According to recent numbers obtained by the BBC, the number of people caught driving while banned increased by 7.5% last year.

The BBC reports that 14,500 drivers without licences were caught in 2016. Even more disconcerting is data that shows more than 109,600 people were banned from driving last year. Who knows how many of them have actually taken to the roads without a valid licence? We suspect that those caught represent only a portion of the true number.

Driving Licences Serve a Purpose

We don't purport to know the mindset of someone who drives while banned, but we do know that licences serve a crucial purpose. Possessing a valid driving licence indicates a person is both qualified and competent to drive. Being banned from driving after previously possessing a licencemeans a driver lacks in qualifications, competence or both. That being the case, banned drivers pose a threat to everyone else on the road.

The risk is both personal and financial. In a personal sense, it's not uncommon for banned drivers to cause serious accidents because of their lack of qualifications or competence. The BBC report included the dash cam video showing a band driver crashing his car. Such accidents harm innocent people on a regular basis.

In terms of financial consequences, Gloucestershire's chief constable reminded BBC readers that banned drivers also tend to be drivers without insurance. They cannot get insurance because they've been disqualified, so every time they get behind the wheel of a car they are risking the financial health of everyone else they come in contact with.

Liability Issues for Business

The statistics on banned drivers speak for themselves. Here at Fleet Licence Check, we specialise in assisting businesses and other organisations with fleets in performing routine licence checks on their drivers. We do what we do because we know how important it is for fleets to be in compliance with the law. It's more than safety alone; it's also about liability.

Routine licence checks of professional drivers are necessary to make sure no one who has been banned gets behind the wheel of a car, van or lorry. If a disqualified driver continues to drive professionally, his or her employer could be held liable in the event of an accident or violation. In addition to the safety and insurance issues, liability ought to be enough to motivate fleet operators to routinely check licences.

Source: BBC