Official statistics indicate that work-related journeys account for a quarter of all road traffic accidents and that some 20 people are killed and 250 seriously injured every week in collisions involving someone driving for business purposes.
Where an employee driving on company business is involved in a collision, subsequent police investigations will consider the liability of the employer. If the employer has significantly contributed to any road traffic offence(s), employers can face prosecution under the Road Traffic Act 1988, Health and Safety Act 1974 and Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007
It is vital that a Road Safety Policy is introduced to protect the business and encourage driver safety even if the company does not own the vehicles used by their business. Such a policy should cover:
- Vehicle Condition - Make it clear that the employee must maintain their vehicle in a roadworthy condition.
- Valid Documents - Ensure that if vehicles are over three years old a valid MOT certificate is in place.
- Driving Licence Checks – Carry out regular checks to ensure the employee has a valid driving licence. If an employee has not disclosed convictions and/or disqualifications the company’s insurance may be voided.
- Adequate Insurance Cover - Ensure that insurance with business use cover is in place, particularly for employee-owned vehicles. Failure to do so renders the business at risk of prosecution for causing or permitting no insurance offences.
- Reporting Changes in Circumstances – Introduce procedures that employees inform their manager(s) of any change in circumstances such as penalty points, changes in insurance or vehicle used, or the use of any prescription medication or changes to health that affect their ability to drive safely.
- Record Keeping - Establish an effective record keeping system in order to provide driver details when a request is received from the police regarding a suspected road traffic offence. Failure to do so will render the business liable to prosecution and a substantial fine.
At Nockolds Solicitors we are able to help your business meet its legal obligations by devising an individual Road Safety Policy to take into account the needs of your business.