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Can company directors and owners be driven to court by their drivers?

By Graham Evans
Practice Leader - Risk Solutions

Company directors need to be careful who they allow to drive ‘on business’. The Corporate Manslaughter Act targets company directors, as well as their drivers, in cases of road deaths involving vehicles used on business. 

The Police treat every road death as ‘an unlawful killing’ and have the power to seize company records and computers during their investigations. They could bring prosecutions against company directors who fail to provide clear policies and guidance for their employees driving at work.

Moreover, and many directors and business owners are not aware of this, privately owned vehicles used for business journeys are treated exactly the same as company owned vehicles. Directors have an equal responsibility under the law to ensure these vehicles are also roadworthy and correctly insured.

To avoid being driven to court these measures should be considered:

  • A ‘Driving at Work’ policy in place, signed by all drivers,  no matter how few vehicles are involved and who owns them
  • Implement regular licence check for all drivers
  • Review online driver profiling and risk assessment systems
  • Consider telematics solutions for heavy use driving 

Check QBE’s Motor Risk Solutions library for more information and to see how easy these measures can be to implement.

It is better than having to pay a taxi to take you (and your lawyer) to court.