Fitness to drive is not just a tick box - by Mark Cartwright, Head of Vans, FTA

Posted on: Monday, 26 June 2017 by Sian Pattenden

If you think checking a driver's licence entitlements when he is first employed means you've ticked the box for due diligence, think again. Drivers have a duty to inform their employer of any changes that could affect their work but equally employers must take responsibility for their staff's competence on a day-to-day basis.

Have you put processes in place that will identify if a driver has received points on his licence while driving his own vehicle? Or if medication he is taking could impact on his ability to drive? Identifying driver impairments and checking fitness to drive are crucial to every transport operation and it's important to establish a robust checking process.

One way to check drivers on a regular basis is to add questions to their daily walk round check, either on paper or on an app. Questions such as 'have you had an alcoholic drink in the last 12 hours?' or 'have you started taking any medication that could affect your ability to drive?' offer an opportunity to remind employees of their obligations and open up discussions if you suspect they are not fit to drive.

The Van Excellence film 'One Fateful Day' highlights the potential impact of driver distraction for the driver, operations manager and company owner. A van driver who has taken drugs is involved in a fatal collision with a child and the film explores the devastating consequences. 

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