Article date: 15 August 2007
Norwich Union is warning fleet managers to thoroughly vet and induct overseas drivers prior to employment in an effort to reduce the increasing number of incidents they are involved in.
Bill Pownall, motor risk manager for Norwich Union, says: "Currently, licenced drivers from abroad do not need to undergo any immediate, additional testing to drive legally on UK roads.
"It is imperative therefore, that employers complete thorough vetting and induction on any new driver to ensure that they are properly licenced, competent, suitably trained on any equipment they may use and medically fit to undertake the driving tasks they are being recruited to complete.
"These measures could help in reducing the risk of incidents and crashes occurring through lack of basic skills and understanding of critical safety factors.
"Standard procedures should apply when vetting any driver, such as checking the validity of the driving licence, reviewing endorsements, checking the claims history and following up references with previous employers.
"For overseas drivers it is particularly important to undertake a complete in-vehicle practical driving risk assessment in order to determine the person's competence to drive the vehicle and demonstrate their awareness of UK traffic law.
"Risk assessments will help fleet managers, and the individual concerned, to determine the level of competency and knowledge in all aspects related to the driver's duties including driving safely and safe operation of any associated plant and machinery.
"As a result, high risk drivers can be identified at the outset and any areas in need of improvement rectified through appropriate training."
Pownall adds: "Although a driver may feel that their physical state is generally good, health checks should still be carried out, paying particular attention to eyesight tests to ensure drivers meet the minimum UK requirement."
For further information, please contact:
Sam Bramwell at Staniforth or 0161 919 8024/077381 96667 or Sally Leeman at Norwich Union on 01603 684225/ 07800 699670.
Notes to editors:
Norwich Union is the UK's largest general insurer with a market share of around 15%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses.
It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.
Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.