Firstly what sort of offence? If one of your drivers commits an offence, such as a moving traffic offence which could result in a fixed penalty notice (speeding, traffic signs / signals, mobile phone offences) this would result in a fixed penalty and points for the driver.
What effect would these have on the company? Company fleet insurance is often weighted and / or priced according to the risk of the drivers on the policy in addition to the claims experience of the policyholder. If therefore you have a fleet of drivers, all with less than (as an example) 6 points, an insurance underwriter may look more kindly on your renewal premium than someone with a range of drivers over 6 points. Lots of 9’s and 12 points will obviously highlight less compliant and perhaps riskier driving styles.
How do you manage your driving licence checks? Taking a copy of your driver’s licence is not enough. This merely proves your photocopier works and that someone can operate a filing system. You need to either get your drivers each to provide a regular online code for you to check this or enable you to have a service provider do this on your behalf by signing a mandate for electronic checks to be done periodically. You may have drivers driving your vehicles who are not entitled to do so.
How would an increase in premium affect your business? If your premium was to be impacted by a claim, and then on renewal the insurer wanted details of your driver risk and points, how would it affect profitability if the premium doubled and then doubled again? I have been consulted in a situation where a companies increased firstly by 88% and then 256% in subsequent renewals. The company had no policies in place to manage drivers, risk or fleet controls but were turning over £10m. Until something goes wrong no one may notice. When something goes wrong they will.
What if the offence kills someone? How does that change things?
Are you and your management team familiar with the contents of the HSE document INDG382 (rev1) because it could affect your business greatly in these situations.
It covers employers and employees responsibilities under the various strands of legislation including the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act, in order to bring greater accountability to fleet management.
Do your employees know and fully understand your policies as a company and do they follow them? Do you have a record of their training and understanding? How do you update them? Does defending a prosecution of Corporate Manslaughter, in the worst case, impinge on your ability to manage a successful and growing business?
On a daily basis I meet sales managers and company directors who are implicitly expected to make telephone calls on the road whilst travelling – the company expectation is that it is hands free so no problem. Last year a top executive was imprisoned for Causing Death by Dangerous Driving. The evidence? He was on his hands free kit twice in the minutes before the crash when he lost control and caused a pile-up.
A simple mobile phone offence from 1 March 2017 is 6 points and £200 fine. Many blue chip FTSE100 companies are taking bluetooth systems out of cars to prevent such an instance. Again I would ask – what are the effects on your company of a driving offence by a driver?
If this driver is YOU, what are the effects on your job, career, home life and family?