Driving

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 14th January 2010.

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Photo of Stephen Ladyman Stephen Ladyman Labour, South Thanet

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what mechanisms are in place to ensure that staff who drive (a) a vehicle for which (i) her Department and (ii) one of its executive agencies is responsible have valid driving licences and (b) their own vehicles in the course of their official duties for (A) her Department and (B) one of its executive agencies have valid driving licences and insurance; what guidance is issued to those staff in respect of road safety while carrying out official duties; what steps are taken to monitor compliance with that guidance; what requirements there are on such staff to report to their line managers accidents in which they are involved while driving in the course of their official duties; and whether such reports are investigated.

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (the South West), Regional Affairs, Minister of State (the South West), Department for Work and Pensions, Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

In respect of staff driving a vehicle for which (i) the Department (ii) one of the Department's executive agencies is responsible:

Before authority is given to use such a vehicle, the employee's driving licence will be checked by their line manager to ensure they have a full current licence which is valid for the vehicle they will be using.

The manager must also ensure that there are no periods of disqualification in force. Details of the check must be recorded. The check should be carried out at least once per year. The manager should record details of the check as follows:

Driver name;

Date of licence check;

Disqualifications, if any; and

Date next check due.

Employees with endorsements for theft of vehicle or taking without consent (unauthorised taking) are not given permission to drive such vehicles.

An employee cannot drive any such vehicle if they are currently disqualified from driving or their licence is currently withdrawn.

Where staff who drive their own vehicles in the course of their official duties for (A) the Department and (B) one of the executive agencies for which the Department is responsible, the manager must ensure that the insurance conditions for the vehicle are satisfied.

Guidance to those staff in respect of road safety while carrying out official duties, is published on the Department's intranet to inform drivers of road safety while carrying out official duties, and, for drivers of the fleet of leased vehicles provided for the use of staff of the Department and its executive agencies, additional road safety guidance is provided on the leasing company's dedicated website.

Line managers must satisfactorily complete a work-related road safety checklist with an individual member of staff before approving an individual's business journey for the first time. The line manager must review the checklist annually as a minimum.

In respect of what requirements there are on such staff to report to their line managers accidents in which they are involved while driving in the course of their official duties, drivers must report all accidents involving vehicles while on official business to their line managers.

In addition, where accidents occur in a vehicle provided for the driver, the driver must report the accident to the vehicle provider.

In terms of whether such reports are investigated, in the case of vehicles provided for the driver, vehicle providers have in place their own mechanisms for accident and claims management.

In the case of staff driving their own vehicles, the staff member's own insurance company would handle accident and claims.

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