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Driving

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what mechanisms are in place to ensure that staff who drive (a) a vehicle for which his Department is responsible have valid driving licences and (b) their own vehicles in the course of their official duties 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. (302171)

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has travel policy in place for staff which is accessible via the Department's intranet. This guidance states clear roles and responsibilities for managers and staff. The responses to the questions raised are:

ix(a) Mechanisms are in place to ensure that staff hold valid driving licences for any vehicles the Department is responsible for. (The Department does not own any vehicles.)

(b) Mechanisms are in place to ensure that staff who use their own vehicles for official business must have valid driving licences and insurance. Before using their own vehicles for official travel, staff must complete an application form which, together with copies of their Motor Vehicle Insurance Certificate, MOT certificate (if appropriate) and a business case signed by at least a Deputy Director, is sent to the Professional Services and Commodities Category Unit for approval.

(c) Road safety guidance for staff. The Department has produced a “Safe Driving Policy” booklet (available via the intranet) which provides road safety guidance. It is expected that compliance to the departmental guidelines is observed by staff.

(d) Steps to monitor compliance to the guidance. Staff have the responsibility to ensure compliance with the guidance.

(e) Requirements to report accidents. All accidents associated with hire companies are brought to the attention of the Professional Services and Commodities Category Unit for investigation.

(f) Accident reports are investigated. All notified motor vehicle accidents are thoroughly investigated.