What to do in a collision with an unregistered driver

As a fleet manager, you will have all your drivers and vehicles properly registered. However, that does not mean everyone on the road is as law-abiding as you.

A recent article from the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland has opened the debate on the preventative measures used against drivers of unregistered vehicles.

According to Russell Manning, who writes for the automotive advisory group, up to 10 per cent of Australia's road users could be driving without the proper registration.

While this used to be easier to detect through registration labels, the scrapping of that scheme in favour of number plate recognition cameras has made it more difficult to do so, Mr Manning explained.

"In the old days, before September last year when registration labels were phased out, police and the public alike could quite quickly get an idea if a car was registered by looking at the label," he said.

"Now it's not so easy. It's now necessary to do an online registration check, which in comparison to what we had, is neither quick nor particularly convenient."

If a driver in your fleet is in a collision with an unregistered vehicle, it could be a different scenario to an accident involving a vehicle that is above board.

For this reason, it is important that drivers are prepared to deal with such a situation, just in case.

What to do

Here are three tips for your drivers to help identify any threat like this after a road collision takes place.

Write down the registration plate details - Ensure all your vehicles have a notepad and pen in the glove box. This will allow a driver to log the registration plate of the other vehicle immediately after an accident. At very least, you will have some information to pass on to the police if other details prove to be fake.

Get a name and mobile number - When your driver is talking to the other road user, make sure they ask for not only the person's name, but their mobile phone number. Most people travel with their mobiles, and if they don't have theirs on them, this could be an early warning sign. If the person does provide a phone number, encourage the driver to ring it on the spot to make sure it is a real number.

Ask for insurance details - An unregistered driver is likely to also be breaching other laws and may not have insurance. While this question might not get you the information you requested, it will put any unscrupulous driver on the spot and alert your employee to any strange behaviour.

Contact your fleet manager - Be sure that your driver contacts you for any advice or concerns and passes these details on as soon as possible.