FTA airs licence concerns

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is warning that the new driver licence checking system to be introduced by the DVLA this summer – will not meet businesses’ needs.

FTA’s chief executive, David Wells has written to the Driver Licencing Agency’s CEO, Oliver Morley telling him that the new online system will make driver licence checking extremely difficult for freight operators, and needs to be reconsidered as a matter of urgency.

Commenting on the proposed DVLA licence checking system, David Wells said, ‘Freight operators –which employ hundreds and sometimes thousands – of professional drivers have a legal obligation to check licences on a regular basis. FTA is not convinced that the proposed online checking system will be robust enough to cope with industry demands.’

Mr Wells continued, ‘Despite FTA staff liaising with the DVLA to realise the commitment by the Agency to provide an on-line alternative which businesses’ need, we believe that the system which is to be introduced in June simply does not deliver that commitment, and would make licence checking for our members extremely difficult.’

Within his correspondence, David Wells outlined several issues that FTA has with the proposed system, stating that the driving licence counterpart represents the main tool for checking the entitlement of professional drivers.

A recent FTA/DVLA working group exercise, carried out in order to understand how much reliance was placed on the driving licence counterpart, confirmed that 94% of respondents relied on a physical check, either separately or as part of a process which involved either telephone or external checking.