CommercialFleet

Insight: Driving licence changes

The confusion, I suggest, comes from the use of the words ‘licence valid to’.

And I can’t see that the new design photo card, which came into effect last month, will dispel this confusion as the same words are used.

We shall therefore continue to have ‘confused’ policemen and insurance employees.

So any van driver charged with the wrong offences should seek legal advice and enter a ‘not guilty’ plea at court.

This also applies if you face a summons alleging you were driving without insurance.

Fleet managers should have policies in place to inspect the driving licences of all employees driving vehicles on company business, whether it’s their own van or belongs to a fleet.

This annual check should not only review the entitlement to drive a particular class of vehicle, but should also look at the date at 4(b), so as to protect the company from any unnecessary involvement should problems arise following an accident, for example.

It would also negate the possibility of companies being charged with aiding and abetting.

First port of call

The DVLA website and www.gov.uk should be your first port of call to try and understand the rules.

It’s not surprising, however, why there’s so much ambiguity when you read a DVLA pdf that says in one breath: “The date in 4b will show the licence expiry date” and then overleaf states: “The expiry date of your licence will be shown on the front in section 4b and the expiry date of your entitlements will be shown on the back of your licence.”

As I’ve said, I can’t see the new photo licence design rectifying this confusion and van drivers and fleet managers will need to keep their wits about them.

I’m not going to go into the other changes post January 19, which mainly affect motorcyclists, lorry, bus and minibus drivers and those towing trailers.

Suffice it to say, if you’ve got to tow something with a small van you’ll be well advised to check the small print of the new rulings to avoid falling foul of the law.

Again, if in doubt, visit the DVLA  or www.gov.uk website.

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  • D - 12/06/2013 14:19

    Hope that's not Charles real name, Address & DoB!!!

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