Licence Check introduces road worthiness check feature amid growing defect concerns
Licence Check is introducing a new road worthiness check feature for company and grey fleet drivers amid concerns that growing numbers of cars could have major or dangerous defects, following changes to MOT testing frequency during the coronavirus pandemic.
Official DVSA figures show that five million fewer MOTs were carried out in April and May this year during lockdown compared with the same months last year, as motorists were given a six-month extension on the MOT due date from March 30.
The Government has since announced that mandatory testing must now restart from August 1 for all vehicles due an MOT after that date.
Currently, some 10% of vehicles fail an MOT due to defective brakes, 13% for suspension faults and 8% for illegal tyres. With at least 5m of the country’s cars not being MOT’d in recent months, the chances of some of them being driven in an unroadworthy state would appear to be high.
The new Licence Check roadworthiness feature puts the onus on company and grey fleet drivers to carry out, and confirm they have carried out, basic essential checks to ensure the continuing safety of a vehicle used for work purposes.
The feature, which is an upgrade to existing services, is at no-additional cost to all current Fleet File and Grey Fleet File users within Licence Check’s award-winning DAVIS cloud software solution for driver and vehicle compliance management.
DAVIS sends out an email to drivers advising that a roadworthiness check on their vehicle is due, typically at 30-day intervals, although employers can vary the interval depending on preference. The driver will then log into their account using the link in the email or via the DAVIS website and select the roadworthiness check.
The checks, which meet with Government guidance and best practice advice from motoring organisations, cover:
• Tyres – tread depth and condition
• Oil – level check
• Fluids – coolant, brake fluid, steering fluid and washer reserve levels
• Lights – operation check
• Windscreen – chips and cracks and wiper blade condition
• Other – brakes, warning lights and obvious damage.
Where there is an issue, this can be immediately reported using a free text field. The workflow uses radio buttons and includes helpful hints to drivers, signs to check for and minimum depths to keep the exercise as quick and simple as possible. The whole check should only take a few minutes and can be completed on a mobile device for convenience.
Any failures are reported to managers via the DAVIS dashboard as an urgent action. From here, managers can drill down to see what the problem is for individual vehicles and assess whether any faults might compromise safety. Each roadworthiness check is date stamped and each report returned by the driver can be viewed by fleet managers.
Terry Hiles, General Manager at Licence Check, which manages hundreds of thousands of company car and grey fleet managers through DAVIS, said: “The six-month MOT extension has seen at least 5m fewer tests carried out, which raises obvious concerns about the ongoing condition of many company and grey fleet vehicles.
“Regular roadworthiness inspections of this nature should bring some defects to light sooner rather than later by requiring drivers to regularly perform basic inspections that all too often are simply overlooked, and confirm they have carried them out.
“This not only ensures that employees meet their legal obligations to other road users in terms of the safety of their vehicle, but it provides a clear audit trail to show that basic safety checks have been carried out and that vehicles used for work remain reasonably fit for use,” he said.