The Transport Operator Register Online (TORO) is a free, independent, internet-based resource available to transport service licence holders that enables them to check that only licensed drivers are driving company vehicles. It is particularly essential for employers to avoid having a vehicle impounded by the police for 28 days in situations where a driver has had their licence disqualified, revoked or suspended. Last month I talked about what information TORO provides and when companies can expect to be notified of a change in licence status. The focus of this article is on the benefits that come with joining TORO, what steps to take to register with TORO, and I also provide some helpful information for drivers.
What are the benefits?
TORO is designed to assist transport operators to better manage the licensing of their drivers in an effort to avoid the substantial costs and business disruptions caused by expired driver licences and demerit point suspensions. Furthermore, the likelihood that a disqualified or suspended driver is stopped by the police while driving an employer’s vehicle is greatly reduced. The beauty of TORO is that it gives transport operators the opportunity to avoid situations that could escalate into major problems. For example, a bus driver can be reminded to renew a P class endorsement in a timely way, or a truck driver can be given a warning that he has accumulated 50 demerit points. If steps are taken at these early stages it may save a lot of time and stress further down the track. TORO will also be useful for transport operators when managing their overall regulatory performance in terms of the Operator Rating System.
How can I join?
Transport operators can join TORO by sending an email to email@example.com with their postal address details, and they will receive an information and registration pack. Completed applications forms and the required documentation should then be posted to:
TORO NZ Transport Agency
Transport Registry Centre
Private Bag 11777
Manawatu Mail Centre
Palmerston North 4442
If registration is successful then a TORO account is established for the company and you will be advised when you can access the system. An account name and password specific to the company is allocated and is to be entered each time the service is used. It is essential that this information is kept confidential and only released to those within the company who have authorised access.
Information for drivers
There is no legal requirement for drivers to give their consent to their employer to access their information via TORO. If consent is given, then the NZTA can release certain information from the Driver Licensing Register to people other than licence holders, pursuant to sections 199(4) and 199(6) of the Land Transport Act 1998 (‘the LTA’). In addition to this, some information not covered by the LTA can be released under the Privacy Act 1993. Employers must give the driver a copy of the signed consent form and hold the original on their personal file. They must keep the consent form on file for six months after the driver leaves their employment. From time to time the NZTA will audit transport service licence holders and as part of the audit ask to see their TORO consent forms.