Legal risks for charities
FleetCheck has been taking a look at the risks faced by fleets which may be largely made up of private cars (‘grey fleets’), and in particular those operated by charities. There exists a variety of legal responsibilities surrounding risk management, especially when it comes to volunteers driving vehicles or using their own cars on charity business, that cannot be avoided.
FleetCheck says that in organisations where budgets are being cut, the fleet is often placed well down the list of priorities because there is limited recognition of the possibilities for prosecution that exist.
Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, said: “There is a wide-ranging set of duty of care responsibilities surrounding the driver and the vehicle that are well-established in law. At a time when charities are keenly aware of reputational risk for a host of reasons, their fleet probably doesn’t immediately come to mind compared to issues such as preventing personal abuse and harassment, especially at a point in time when budgets and managerial resources are being stretched. The fact is that, if an accident occurs and the charity is found to be at fault, they can face prosecution and their directors will be looking at a custodial sentence. It is a serious matter. There are all kinds of danger areas but, for example, if you are not carefully and regularly checking employee driving licences, you could find that someone has a lot of points on their licence or may not even be qualified to drive a vehicle such as a minibus.”
(Image: public domain)