Fleet owners could face £20m fines

Large fleet owners have been warned to make sure their houses are in order or risk fines of up to £20m, following the introduction of new Corporate Manslaughter guidelines from the Sentencing Council.

Companies with an annual turnover of more than £50m could now incur financial penalties of up to £20m, while fatal Health and Safety offences could result in fines of up to £10m.

Organisations with fleets have been advised to ensure that driving risks are properly assessed and that drivers are properly trained and remain licensed.

Richard Brown, managing director of LICENCECHECK, said, This should be a real wake-up call to all businesses managing fleets all over the country. New sentencing guidelines mean that courts now have the power to fine businesses up to £20m for Corporate Manslaughter offences and a maximum of £10m for Health and Safety regulation offences.

‘The risk to those operating fleets, regardless of size should not be overlooked as the consequences could be more painful than ever.’

Richard adds that just having a policy in place is not enough – it has to be rigorously enforced.

He continued, ‘Let’s not forget grey fleet, either. The same obligations apply to drivers using their own vehicles. Irrespective of ownership, the responsibility of ensuring that a private car is safe for work use lies with the business owner. A prudent employer should ensure these vehicles are properly insured, serviced and maintained by their owners and properly record this information. The risk is now too great to simply ignore.’