The Corporate Manslaughter Bill became law on the 6th April 2008
The Act introduces an important new option for certain very serious senior management failures which result in fatality. Prosecutions will be of the corporate body, not individuals, but the ability to prosecute directors or other individuals under health and safety law or the general criminal law, in appropriate cases, will be unaffected. The corporate body itself and individuals can also still be prosecuted for separate health and safety offences.
If you were to ‘Google’ ‘reversing accidents’ you would find many and some of which caused fatalities. Most experienced drivers will not assert themselves to looking all round the vehicle including blind spot areas before moving away and most have not heard about ‘reference points’ or ‘limit points’. If in your job, you end up driving different types / sizes of vehicles you will find these points extremely useful. I was assessing a person’s driving in a van recently whilst carrying out a Fleet driver assessment and noticed that there was a pen that had been pushed down the front of the dashboard directly in front of the driver. Apparently, the driver had inserted the pen to help him position the rather large van into the centre of the lane! This obviously worked for him, so the pen was left in the dashboard.
There are lots of Driving Instructors that train people in ‘refresher’ or ‘advanced’ driver training who are not Fleet registered with the DVSA and it may be that you require a company that has experience of training drivers within a Fleet environment and who are specialised in this capacity. This is where our company and expertise can help YOU!
At AHD Driver Training Ltd we help clients within their organisation to improve their fleet risk management procedures and policies including correct work practices within the Fleet driver training area of their business. A Fleet Risk Assessment can be carried out with individual staff on either a 1-1 basis and / or ‘in -car’ assessment on either a 2-1 or 3-1 basis. Organisations can have their staff assessed against a ‘Fleet Risk Assessment’ process with a strict scoring procedure. If the individual after going through a Corporate Fleet Management process scored either Medium Risk or High to Dangerous then the individual’s score would be discussed with that person’s Fleet Driver Manager. More organisations due to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 are having to make their Corporate Fleet Management Training an extremely important part of their working practices. Organisations must adhere to a Fleet Policy including regular monitoring of their Fleet drivers which may include new starters within their organisation, drivers who are ‘upgrading’ to driving larger vehicles within their fleet of vehicles, as some drivers may have what is called ‘grandfather rights’ on their licence. Other drivers may have had collisions whilst driving Fleet vehicles and they have been requested to seek further training before they are allowed to continue driving for that company.
Who has ‘grandfather’ rights?
It may be that you work for a company and already drive a vehicle that covers you on your driving licence for category B. If you wanted to drive a vehicle as shown in the table below, it may be that you have ‘extra’ categories on your driving licence that allow you to do this.
|Old Class||New Category||Description|
|Class 1||Category C+E||Any goods vehicle towing any trailer|
|Class 2||Category C||Any goods vehicle towing a trailer up to 750kgs|
|Class 3||Category C||Any goods vehicle towing a trailer up to 750kgs|
|7.5 tonne entitlement automatically given with car licence gained before 1997 under “Acquired rights”||Category C1||Goods vehicle under 7.5 tonnes towing a trailer up to 750kgs|
Can I drive a truck on my ordinary car driving licence?
If you passed your car driving test before 1st January 1997 you will automatically have “acquired rights” to categories C1, D1 and B+E entitlements which means you can drive goods vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes, towing a trailer up to 750kg, a minibus up to 16 seats towing a trailer and a car towing any trailer. If you passed your test after 1st January 1997 you are allowed to drive vehicles up 3.5 tonnes (Ford Transit or Mercedes Sprinter sized vehicles but check the Gross Weight on the vehicles plate because some “Small vans” are not that small!) towing a trailer up to 750kg (but not exceeding a train weight of 3.5tonnes), a minibus up to 8 seats towing a trailer up to 750kg (not exceeding a train weight of 3.5tonnes) and a car towing a trailer up to 750kgs (again, not exceeding the 3.5 tonnes train weight).
You will have ‘acquired rights’ or ‘grandfather’ rights if you are a:
- lorry driver and got your vocational licence (C, C1, C+E and C1+E) before 10 September 2009
- bus or coach driver and got your vocational licence (D, D1, D+E and D1+E) before 10 September 2008
You don’t have ‘acquired rights’ if you have a D, D1, D+E or D1+E licence with ‘not for hire or reward’ or ‘101’ on it. You will need to pass all 4 parts of the Driver CPC initial qualification to be able to drive professionally.