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Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what mechanisms are in place to ensure that staff who drive (a) a vehicle for which (i) his Department and (ii) one of its Executive agencies is responsible have valid driving licences and (b) their own vehicles in the course of their official duties for (A) his Department and (B) one of its executive agencies have valid driving licences and insurance; what guidance is issued to those staff in respect of road safety while carrying out official duties; what steps are taken to monitor compliance with that guidance; what requirements there are on such staff to report to their line managers accidents in which they are involved while driving in the course of their official duties; and whether such reports are investigated. (302172)

The Department for Transport has a departmental Driving at Work policy that includes the requirement for every driver or rider to hold a valid driving licence. If drivers or riders use their own vehicles they must also have appropriate insurance provision. Further detailed arrangements vary according to the exact business need in each agency and the central Department.

All staff who drive or ride on departmental business have their driving licences and insurance provision checked by line management or in the case of DVLA by a dedicated team. Usually this is by visual inspection but in some parts of the Department it is done by self-certification supported by management checks. There are regular reviews of the appropriate documentation that vary between six months to a year or whenever there is a change of circumstances.

Detailed guidance is available to all staff in respect of road safety while on departmental business and line managers are responsible for monitoring arrangements. Guidance includes practical advice like checking vehicles prior to a journey, planning journeys and the need for regular breaks, using seat belts, not using a mobile phone while driving.

Staff are required to report all accidents via the internal arrangements in their agency or the Central Department. Reporting requirements includes accidents while driving in the course of their official duties. All accidents are investigated.