Fleet law is not just about The Corporate Manslaughter Act and Duty of Care, these are just the ones the media heavily discuss.
There are many other laws affecting your business for company cars, light commercial vehicles AND employee opt out schemes.
Just because you have no company cars do not think you are not covered by these laws, as soon as anyone drives for business needs in a company car or their own car you need to cover yourselves against all relevant laws.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
Employers have a duty of care for the safety of employees at work, regardless of the type or size of the business. There is also a duty of care to others who may be affected by their business activities which, in the case of driving, means all other road users.
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Employers are required to carry out risk assessments, make arrangements to implement necessary measures, appoint competent people and arrange for appropriate information and training.
The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1996
These regulations set out the standards for vehicles that can be used on the UK’s roads.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
These regulations cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues including traffic routes for vehicles within the workplace.
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
These regulations ensure that work equipment is suitable for its intended use, safe and inspected and properly maintained. It also requires those using the equipment to be properly trained.
Road Traffic Acts supported by the Highway Code
The Highway Code applies to all road users and includes information on signs and markings, road users, the law and driving penalties. It is an offence for an organisation to set driver schedules which may cause them to break speed limits and/or have payment reward schemes which in any way incentivise them to do so. Also covers laws ranging from banning use of mobile phones while driving to anti-smoking legislation.
EC Drivers’ Hours Rules
UK Domestic Drivers’ Hours Rules
The Road Transport (Working Times) Regulations 2005
It is the driver’s and employer’s responsibility to ensure compliance with drivers’ hours and tachograph regulations. They are applicable to goods vehicles in excess of 3.5 tonnes. Tachographs must be used to record hours of driving, other work, breaks and rest periods. Additional information can be found on the Department for Transport website (www.dft.gov.uk/drivingforwork).
Corporate Manslaughter Act
The “nuclear option” when it comes to laws affecting fleet safety. There are warnings it could become the prosecution of choice for companies, but a company’s entire culture has to be held responsible for a death before it comes into play.
Health & Safety (Offences) Act 2009
This new Act was implemented in January 16th 2009. It amends the provision for sentencing contained in the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. The Act is aimed at punishing individuals that breach the Health & Safety rules, the breach will not necessarily mean that a death has occurred.
If found guilty through a Magistrates Court a maximum fine of £20,000 would be payable.
Fleet managers & fleet decision makers including directors could be prosecuted and even sent to prison for two years if convicted through the Crown Courts, they could also be made to pay a hefty fine.