New law regarding reckless driving
New law on reckless driving entered into force on 31 March 2021. The law intends to prevent reckless driving, including street racing, drink-driving and the like, and with that the government wants to give the police increased powers to intervene on the basis of charges under the Road Traffic Act, including confiscation of the concerned vehicle.
Below you can read more about the details of the law and what it means for you as a customer and lessee. In addition, you get 3 helpful tips on possible initiatives.
Facts about the law
The new law is a tightening of the rule on confiscation of vehicles in connection with so-called reckless driving. Confiscation must take place if the owner is charged with violation in accordance with the following provisions. Confiscation may also occur if the car is driven by a third party, where the owner should know that this entailed a risk of reckless driving, or has not adequately secured his rights in connection with, for example, a leasing agreement.
This means that the following provisions are introduced into current legislation.
Confiscation must take place for the following violations of The Danish Penal Code:
- In the case of negligent manslaughter in particularly aggravating circumstances, cf. section 241 of The Danish Penal Code
- In the event of damage to someone's body or health in aggravating circumstances, cf. section 249 of The Danish Penal Code
- By endangering the life or mobility of others, cf. section 252 of The Danish Penal Code
Confiscation must take place for the following violations of the Road Traffic Act:
- For particularly reckless driving
- In case of a speeding violation of more than 100% of the permitted, in cases where the speed exceeds 100 km / h.
- When driving at more than 200 km / h regardless of the speed limit
- When driving with a blood alcohol level of more than 2.0
How you are affected as a customer
Of course, it is still possible as a company car driver to let other people drive the car if this is part of the car policy. However, it has become extra important to think twice before you let someone else drive the car, as reckless driving now has greater financial consequences in addition to the obviously very serious consequence, where others' lives are exposed to danger.
If one of your drivers is charged under the new legislation, the provisions of the master lease agreement between you as a customer and LeasePlan apply that the vehicle may not be used for extreme purposes, including rally driving and race. This therefore means that in the event of the user's charge under the above provisions, LeasePlan will regard the underlying lease agreement as breached, after which the lease agreement on the vehicle in question will be terminated and calculated in accordance with the applicable provisions of the master lease agreement. In addition, in the event of default, LeasePlan is entitled to claim compensation for its loss in accordance with the general principles of Danish law. This means that if a vehicle should be confiscated by the police, and then sold at auction, LeasePlan's losses will be calculated and claimed from the lessee.
We recommend that you as a fleet manager reach out for your Key Account Manager at LeasePlan to get advice on possible modifications to your car policy, so that you can appropriately secure the company against any employees who may be charged under the new provisions in the Road Traffic Act. However, any legal changes in employment contracts and internal policies must always be assessed by your own lawyers.
3 helpful tips
- Decide if you need an addition or modification to your car policy regarding reckless driving. Perhaps you already have a clause about, for example, drink-driving, which can be extended. We are happy to advise you on specific proposals.
- Also consider whether expenses associated with a vehicle that is terminated in connection with reckless driving should be re-invoiced to the driver (even if he or she was not the driver in the particular situation) and add this to the car policy.
- Inform your drivers about the additions to the car policy as well as a request on being extra careful with who they allow to drive their company car (and a reminder to avoid any kind of reckless driving themselves).
Traffic safety is an important focus area at LeasePlan. We dissociate ourselves from all kinds of driving that can be described as reckless.
Although the majority of all drivers are skilled and considerate, we hope with the change in the law that the roads will be a safer place to travel for ordinary motorists as well as vulnerable road users.