Rest is essential when on the road. After all, we’ve all seen the signs that read ‘tiredness can kill’. With the long shifts that come with this job, it’s essential that drivers have the rest they need to stay alert on the road. So, what are the rest period allowances and requirements?

Over a 24-hour period, drivers should take a rest break of at least 11 hours in total. They can either take it as one rest period, or if required, this can be broken into two separate periods of rest in which the first must be a minimum of 3 hours, and the second having a minimum requirement of 9 hours. To give an example of this, if a driver starts their shift at 7 am, before 7 am the next day occurs they should have either taken an 11 hour rest period, for example between 7 pm and 6am, or they can split their rest time into two periods. So, for instance, the first one which is a minimum of 3 hours could be taken between 10am and 1pm, and the second, which is a minimum of 9 hours, could be taken between 10 pm and 7 am.

Can this rest period be reduced any further?

If the driver needs to reduce this rest time further, they are able to lower it from 11 hours down to 9. However, this is only allowed to occur three times in one week as it will be classified as a reduced daily rest period.

Over an entire week, drivers are required to take a total rest time of 45 hours. This amount of rest time can be reduced to 24 hours, but drivers will then have to make up for their loss of rest periods. This means that for two weeks after this reduced rest time, no reduced rest periods are allowed, and they have to utilise the full resting break times.

It’s worth noting that tachometers register the driving and rest times of professional drivers, so attempting to take longer or shorter rest periods than allowed is unlikely to go unnoticed.

What about break periods?

Like rest periods, break times can be separated into two sections. The first one must have a minimum time of 15 minutes, while the second should be a total of 30 minutes. A break shorter than 15 minutes is too short to be classified as a break, however, it will also not be logged as driving time. Therefore, a break of this brevity should be avoided.