Speaking at the Ageas Bowl this week Sarah Bell, Traffic Commissioner for London and the South East of England, urged transport managers to guard their personal data closely in case it falls into the wrong hands. Ms Bell mentioned an “extraordinary case”, which she said went to show the lengths that rogue operators will go to use transport managers’ personal data.
The case concerned Hampshire-based transport managers who ended up being proposed on operator licences without their knowledge. The first one manager knew about the proposal was when he received a notification through his VOL (Vehicle Operating Licensing) account. Ms Bell said “I think you really need to understand just how canny some of these individuals are, and how thick their skin is.”
The Commissioner urged all transport managers, especially external transport managers, to store their personal details, such as copies of qualifications and their dates of birth, safely and securely. Otherwise, she said they risked putting their hard-earned qualifications or livelihood in severe jeopardy.
“More importantly,” Bell said, “it allows dangerous operators to operate under the cloak of legality.”
To reduce the risk of their personal data being used by rogue operators, the Commissioner shared some tricks and tips. These included encouraging transport managers to check their account details on VOL, to be ultra-cautious when completing forms for prospective employers and to inform the DVSA’s Leeds office of any changes in their employment status.