Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Sharp focus on company drivers

Company drivers now face tougher rules when it comes to making sure their eyesight is up to scratch. The rules came into force earlier this month and they mean anyone with a commercial licence will face much stricter checks.

Our senior partner, Graham Davies, said drivers of cars and light commercial vehicles will now need to self-certify every ten to 15 years that their eyesight is up to the job.

"This is the case whether or not they drive on business, and it's vital that they have a professional eye test first otherwise they could risk making a false admission.

"Previously drivers with Group Two licences, including anyone driving buses or lorries, was required to have an eye test every five years when they reached the age of 45 - now though all drivers in this group must be tested every five years, no matter what their age."

Graham said employers are also required to provide and pay for eye tests and glasses or lenses to any staff who use computers in the workplace.

"Despite the new testing rules, this will not be extended to anyone who drives as part of their job, but you do have a responsibility to ensure drivers are operating safely on behalf of your business.

"You should make it company policy that drivers have to comply with the new rules, and that they should make a regular declaration to you that they have done everything that's required. It's important to remind staff too that if they don't wear their glasses while driving, they could get points on their licence and a fine of up to £1,000 for which they would be personally liable.

"Even though you're not legally obliged to pay for company drivers' eye tests, you may decide you will as a gesture - and of course you'll also be reassured then that the tests have been carried out. It's in everyone's best interests that your drivers are safe on the roads, so the price of the tests may well be a small price to pay for peace of mind."