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The Implications of Licence Endorsements and Penalties

When talking about HGV drivers, a driving licence constitutes more than just proof that someone can drive a lorry. It also records how cleanly and well that particular driver operates on the road, with endorsements and penalties highlighting offences that have occurred in the past 4-11 years (depending on the transgression).

In this article, we look at what these penalties and endorsements mean from a transport manager’s perspective. We’ll be illustrating their impact and the responsibilities that fall upon transport managers and drivers when they occur.

Understanding Driving Licence Endorsements

Basically, endorsements on someone’s licence denote instances of offences they’ve committed while driving. This could be a speeding ticket or something more serious like reckless driving.

The Accumulation of Points

Each endorsement that’s imposed on someone’s licence by the court carries with it a certain number of points that may accumulate over time. The negative impact of offences can include higher insurance premiums needing to be paid, and even disqualification from driving in the most severe cases.

How Long Endorsements Last

These points are displayed on a person’s driving licence for a set number of years and serve as a formal record of the nature and severity of the transgressions.

So, here we come to our first critical point – it’s imperative that you understand how long each type of offence stays on a driver’s licence, as it can impact their ability to drive for certain jobs and can lead to an increase in insurance costs.

Navigating Penalties

Driving penalties can be defined as consequences of breaking traffic laws, and they serve as a reminder of why it’s important to follow the rules of the road. Let’s take a look at the forms these penalties can take

  • Fines & Charges – Financial fines are a common type of penalty that hit you in the pocket and the amount usually correlates to how serious the offence is. They can run into thousands of pounds, so it’s important to understand how the fine structure works.
  • Disqualification – A driving ban can occur when serious road offences are committed, or several lesser offences accumulate on someone’s licence. This ban can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances and there can be wider ramifications on the driver’s professional life.

The Role Transport Managers Must Play

When talking about driving licence penalties and endorsements, it’s the job of the transport manager to monitor them so that when they’re accrued, legal compliance and company standards are maintained.

It’s also incumbent of managers to implement training initiatives that inform and educate drives as to the consequences of points building up on their licence. When drivers understand what it means to their livelihood and ability to earn a wage, it helps to reinforce the need to drive safely and compliantly.

Record Keeping & Insurance Liaison

Another task that transport managers need to stay on top of is record keeping, as transparency must be show in terms of how your company acts when they become aware of endorsements and penalties imposed their drivers.

As such, they need to show that corrective actions were taken when necessary, so that this type of occurrence is dissuaded.

Managers should also liaise with insurance providers so that a) the insurance company remains adequately covered when endorsements/penalties are imposed and b) that the impact on insurance premiums is understood.

Understanding Penalties/Endorsements & How to Handle Their Impact

The correct steps must always be taken whenever driving offences occur, which is why a comprehensive understanding of endorsements and penalties is vital. This, coupled with proactive management and effective training can greatly reduce the risks to both your drivers and your organisation.

Staying on top of this crucial aspect also helps to create a company culture where there’s an expectation for safe driving and compliance.

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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