1. The Second EU Driving Licensing Directive was implemented in the UK from 1 January 1997. Henceforth new licence holders driving vehicles of 3.5 tonnes laden weight or more or passenger carrying vehicles having 9 seats or more would be classified as Group II drivers, would have to be over 21 years of age and would be required to submit a regular medical report. Approximately 400 persons are currently insured to drive College vehicles or hired vehicles; these are mostly mini buses and hence fall into the Group II category.
2. The UCL Health & Safety Management Team has recommended that (1) College should set minimum standards for all drivers of minibuses or vehicles of 3.5 metric tonnes owned or hired by the College; (2) all drivers of vehicles owned or hired by College should have regular routine health surveillance; and (3) where there is specific guidance from the HSE about medical standards (e.g. for fork lift truck drivers), this guidance should be followed. The Chair of the Field Course Grants Committee has endorsed these recommendations.
3. Routine health surveillance has already been introduced to give effect to (2) and (3). The following guidelines below set out minimum standards for drivers and advice to drivers/hirers/those being driven.
Minimum standards for Drivers of Group II vehicles
4. Drivers of College College owned/hired Group II category vehicles must:
- be aged 21 or over (though note that insurers will impose an excess for drivers under 25 years of age)
- have held a driving licence for a minimum of 2 years
- hold a current driving licence without endorsements for driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink or drugs or with excess alcohol in the blood; or for careless or for dangerous driving (note: in respect of vehicles hired from Camden Community Transport drivers must have full current licences free of endorsements and pass a CCT competency test)
5. Departments must satisfy themselves that drivers comply with the above mentioned requirements. Even where individuals meet these requirements, Heads of Departments shall have absolute discretion over the whether or not a particular individual is permitted to drive.
6. The following advice applies in whole or in part to drivers/hirers/those being driven:
- be aware of the minimum standards for drivers (as set out above)
- where individuals use their own vehicles for College business (including the carriage of other individuals), they must make their insurer aware that the trip is for business purposes
- when hire vehicles are used, wherever possible hire firms recommended by College should be used (Procurement Services can advise) and, in any event, formal hiring arrangements (including provision for insurance and vehicle maintenance) must be made
- drivers not used to driving a passenger carrying vehicle must familiarise themselves
with the vehicle (preferably accompanied by a person experienced in driving the
particular type of vehicle) before taking passengers on any journey
- wherever possible, when a vehicle is hired, a driver should be hired as well
- whenever possible a second driver should be taken
- drivers must take periodic rest breaks to limit the amount of time spent driving
- alcoholic drinks must not be consumed during a journey by any member of the party
- anyone under the influence of drink before the start of a journey must not drive
- anyone taking medication which might cause drowsiness must not drive
- drivers and passengers must act responsibly at all times and course leaders have a particular responsibility to set a good example
- alternative travel arrangements should be made when the designated driver is incapacitated