Richard Brown – ‘new smart motorways mean drivers need to be constantly aware’

Smart motorways will increase need for regular licence checking

The growing number of smart motorways across the UK which rely on Advanced Traffic Management (ATMs) system cameras will increase the need for regular driver licence checking because of the increased capture of speeding events.

That’s the view of Richard Brown, director of sales at fleet driver licence and compliance specialist Licence Check, the fastest growing provider of licence checking services in the country and now part of online solutions provider, Ebbon-Dacs, following a strategic acquisition at the end of last year.  

“Drivers could notch up sufficient penalty points for possible disqualification on just a single journey if they are not continually aware and do not observe motorway speed limits, increasing the onus on fleet managers to check their licences on a more frequent basis. Annually is no longer sufficient,” said Brown.

The latest section of smart motorway opened on the M1 near East Midlands airport recently, between junctions 23a, Nottingham/East Midlands Airport, and the approach to junction 24 for Derby, joining other stretches on the M25 and M6.

The permanent 24-hour ATM smart cameras are live constantly and not just when a lower speed than the national limit is showing on the overhead gantry. The ATM system incorporates automatic ticket generation that logs the registration number of any speeding vehicle and issues a speeding ticket.

Speed limits displayed inside a red circle on overhead signs are legally enforceable. If no signs are displayed, the national speed limit applies to these areas of the motorway. Drivers caught by the system face fines of up to £2,500, based on income, and up to six points on their licence. Speeds over 90mph could lead to automatic disqualification.

“Smart motorways are the future and the means by which the authorities will regulate traffic flow – which means greater surveillance of drivers. As a consequence, drivers will have to be more attentive and aware of speed limits at all times. Lapses in concentration could cost them their licence or increase their risk profile with their employer,” said Brown.

Brown said that companies may need to look at the frequency of licence checking with the advent of increasing stretches of smart motorways to ensure that drivers still have the entitlement to drive and have not amassed too high levels of points or other convictions on their licences.

“We always advise our clients to look at the type of vehicle being driven and the nature of the driving. For example, with vocational driving where goods or passengers are being carried, our recommendation is in line with the Traffic Commissioner’s advice, which is to check licences four times a year,” he said.

“For high mileage drivers, we would also advocate four checks per annum because they are a higher risk category of drivers. For company car drivers where driving is part of their job, we would generally recommend carrying out at least two checks a year and, for more casual users once a year. Clearly, employers at all times should consider a risk-based approach to licence checking.

“Companies should not forget grey fleet drivers as well, especially as we are seeing a significant increase in the number of employees opting for cash allowances and using their own cars on company business due to increases in Benefit-in-Kind taxation.

“Grey fleet drivers should be checked as regularly as if they were company drivers, including  confirmation that they have the correct business class insurance which is often overlooked,” he added.

Licence Check works with many customers in the fleet, leasing and rental, transport and logistics and coach and bus markets, offering a wide range of licence checking services. The company recently expanded its range of services to include the Driver and Vehicle Information Solution brand, DAVIS, a cloud solution to help manage driver and vehicle fleet compliance including grey fleet management services.

Richard Brown – ‘new smart motorways mean drivers need to be constantly aware’
Richard Brown – ‘new smart motorways mean drivers need to be constantly aware’

Notes to Editors

About Licence Check

Derby-based Licence Check, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year, won the ‘Safety Award’ at the 2018 Business Car Awards and, more recently, the ‘Innovation of Risk Management Award’ for its DAVIS solution at the British Fleet Awards. Established in 2008 by Richard Brown, it is one of the UK’s leading licence checking businesses, carrying out hundreds of thousands of online driver licence checks per annum and is the UK’s fastest growing licence checking business.

The company works with both private and public sector customers, including end user fleets, vehicle leasing and rental suppliers, transport and logistics companies and coach and bus operators, to name but a few, providing real-time driving licence checking solutions and driver compliance.

The company is also a founding member of the Association for Driving Licence Verification (ADLV), the trade body for driving licence checking operators.

More recently, the company’s range of customer services has been expanded under the Driver and Vehicle Information Solution brand, DAVIS, a cloud solution to help manage driver and vehicle fleet compliance for both company vehicles and the grey fleet.

The company was acquired by Ebbon-Dacs in November 2018. Richard Brown, commercial director, Terry Hiles, and all existing staff have remained with the business, which will continue to be based in Derby.


Ebbon-Dacs is well established as a provider of hosted, web-based technology solutions to the automotive contract hire and leasing community. For over 15 years, the company has focused on connecting and automating the fleet community with an increasing range of platforms.

Its main online solutions include the market-leading e-procurement platform, Leaselink, and the vehicle delivery system, moDel, both of which are used extensively throughout the UK and increasingly in Europe.

Contact information:

Richard Brown

Director of Sales

Licence Check

Tel: 01330 660 7107

Mob: 07966 406947


Press enquiries:

Mike Gunnell

MGMedia Services

Tel: 01832 275060

Mob: 07786 971 544


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