New powers that would allow the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to stop unlicensed people from driving a vehicle without involving the police, would help improve road safety, says Richard Brown, managing director of Licencecheck, a licence verification company.
Currently, when DVSA needs to prohibit a vehicle because the driver doesn't have the appropriate licence, the police must be contacted to take action. But now the DVSA is seeking approval for its staff to have the power to demand a licence is produced and to seize a vehicle.
Mr Brown said: 'Cutting out a layer of policing for this common issue will mean a swifter resolution, ensuring drivers that do not have the correct licence will not be on the road.
'It's clear that police resourcing is increasingly under pressure, and allowing the DVSA to take on responsibility themselves for this important licensing issue will make UK roads a safer place.'
Such a move would complement an initiative currently being implemented by the DVSA which allows it to focus resources on non-compliant operators through a recognition enforcement scheme.
In this, larger operators will be encouraged to use Application Development Interfaces (APIs) that link their fleet management systems to various agencies and automatically exchange operational data demonstrating good practice.
'While these proposed changes are primarily driven by cost savings they are certainly one way of addressing the unlicensed vocational driver issue,' said Brown.
'For larger goods vehicles and passenger vehicles, another positive action would be to make Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) and tacho card information available to operators as part of the driving licence check.'
In a recent survey by Licencecheck there was universal support for detailed CPC data to be made available to operators as part of the driving licence checking process.
'Ensuring that unlicensed drivers never leave a depot by making their licence entitlement and other qualification information available from a single source would seem to tick a number of consultation boxes,' he added.