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Manager Responsibilities and Liabilities in Driver Licensing

Understanding and coping with the legal complexities surrounding HGV driving licences is a central part of managing a fleet of trucks. As such, if you want your operations to run smoothly and within the law, it’s important to have a firm grasp of what’s required.

In this article, we shine a spotlight on the many aspects of the subject, helping you to avoid the common mistakes that professionals in this sphere make.

Knowing Your Responsibilities

There are a number of key responsibilities that managers of truck fleets have when it comes to the licences their drivers hold. The first is to ensure that every single one of their drivers has a licence that’s valid for the vehicle they’re assigned to drive.

Managers can ensure this is the case by conducting regular verification checks of their drivers’ licences for penalties/endorsements. In fact, it’s a legal requirement to know of any endorsements that have been imposed and to make sure that any restrictions placed on that driver are adhered to.

Training & Record Keeping

It’s naturally important for all drivers in your crew to be sufficiently trained and able to drive safely – that should be a given. However, it’s also your legal responsibility to make sure that that happens. One way to be sure that this is the case is to keep comprehensive documentation of all driving licencing details and activity.

What this is means is keeping accurate, fully up-to-date records of not just licence information (expiry dates, endorsements, penalties etc), but also details of all training that has been provided.

Accident Liabilities That Managers Face

Another big reason why managers should focus on ensuring all operations are above board from a legal standpoint is that they may face liability when accidents occur, and it’s found that insufficient training, licence verification and monitoring of endorsements played a part in them happening.

In reality, this may lead to heavy penalties being imposed and your company having its reputation tarnished. In turn this could result in a loss of trust from customers and an impact on your own professional and financial future.

How to Manage These Responsibilities

A way to manage your legal responsibilities as a transport manager is to engage in regular training to keep yourself and your team abreast of the very latest best practices and legal requirements as they relate to driving licences.

Another necessary step is to create clear policies for monitoring your drivers’ licencing statuses and make everyone aware and in complete understanding of what they are. Monitoring/record-keeping software is a popular way to reduce the time the process takes.

If you’ve got any concerns in this area, it might be wise to reach out to expert consultants who can show you where you’re going right or wrong.

Proactivity Is Key to Running a Tight Ship

HGV licencing can be tricky to manage effectively, but when you’re proactive in your approach, the subject becomes much less troublesome and confusing.

Achieving this end begins with acquainting yourself with your responsibilities and creating an environment in which everyone understands the importance of safety and following the rules. Do this and you greatly reduce the liabilities you and your company will face.

About the author

Jonathan Gilder

Jonathan Gilder

Head of Training and Transport
Jonathan is a distinguished NRI HGV Instructor accredited by RTITB, with certifications in IOSH Managing Safely, RTITB Lift Truck Instruction, and ROSPA Assured PAT Testing. His expertise extends to EdI Level 3 NVQ Assessing, Btec Level 2 in Transportation of Goods by Road, and he is a skilled Trainer in Driver CPC and Incident Investigation from GH Safety.

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