Drivers are increasingly learning that driving a hired van or car doesn’t provide any protection from speeding fines, the London Congestion Charge or any other type of penalty fee, according to the latest figures from National Car Rental, one of the UK’s largest car and van hire companies.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the law, it is an offence to fail to identify the driver of a vehicle where a traffic offence has been committed. This means that van rental companies are legally obliged to identify drivers caught by traffic cameras or Traffic Wardens.
National Car Rental believes that this message is finally hitting home – in the last quarter of 2007, they saw a 52% reduction in the number of speeding fines awarded to drivers of National hire vehicles. This dramatic fall followed falls of more than 25% in the preceding two quarters – a great improvement for the company.
National also reported similar falls in the numbers of fines received for driving in bus lanes, failing to pay the London Congestion Charge and parking illegally.
National Car Rental’s Operations Director, David Alexander, said that he thought that the growing understanding that offences were always traced back to drivers of hired vehicles was “acting as a powerful deterrent”.
The figures are also good news for companies whose employees drive hired cars and vans for business purposes – the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter Act in April 2008 means that companies will be prosecuted in cases were a fatality results from a failure of the company to meet its health and safety obligations – including road safety.