The EU or tachograph Drivers’ Hours Rules are complicated. Breach of the Drivers Hours Rules and tachograph record offences are the most common LGV crimes in England and Wales.
New Drivers’ Hours Rules came into force on 11th April 2007. The objective was to bring the practices of EU member states closer together and thereby contribute to better road safety for all. The Drivers’ Hours Rules below apply to carriage of goods by road where the maximum permitted mass of the vehicle, including any trailer, exceeds 3.5 tonnes, regardless of whether full or empty. They apply to journeys that take place either entirely or in part on the public roads.
The new EC Regulation brought in some changes, and the basic Drivers’ Hours Rules are now as follows: –
- Weekly driving time limits of 56 hours to be the maximum permitted.
- Daily driving not to exceed 9 hours but can be extended to 10 hours twice in a week.
- Accumulated driving time during any two consecutive weeks to not exceed 90 hours.
- It used to be acceptable to take breaks in three periods of 15 minutes before accumulating 4 ½ hours driving time. A 15 minute break must now be taken followed by a break of at least 30 minutes before 4 ½ hours driving time has been completed. In practice, a driver should take a 15 minute break during the four and a half hours driving and a second break of 30 minutes at the end. The alternative is to take a full 45 minutes at the end.
- A driver must take 11 hours daily rest in 24 hours, which can be reduced to 9 hours three times a week.
- Split daily rest can now only be split into two instead of three. First rest must be 3 hours and the second at least 9 hours.
- The option to reduce weekly rests of 36 hours was removed in 2007. In any two consecutive weeks a driver will be able to take either 2 (regular) rest breaks of 45 hours or one regular rest and one reduced rest of no less than 24 hours, irrespective of location. Compensation is still required, as prior to 11th April 2007.
- Multi manning – from 11th April 2007 the new regulation permitted the vehicle to be driven for the first hour without any additional driver present. This allows the first driver time to collect the second. It also increased the minimum daily rest requirement from 8 to 9 hours.
- Ferry crossings – under the new regulation a daily rest period of at least 11 hours can be interrupted, not more than twice, and not more than one hour in total, with no requirement to take additional in compensation for interruptions.
There is more information on the DVSA website and the Drivers’ Hours Rules and rules on tachographs publication produced by DVSA can be downloaded by clicking here.