When it comes to driving for work, there are certain rules that all companies and drivers must abide by. Such rules have been put in place largely to ensure that roads are a safer place for all drivers; a tired individual manning an HGV is liable not only to hurt themselves if they fall asleep at the wheel, but also any vehicles in the nearby vicinity.
One of the core rules in this regard is the number of hours that a driver can spend on the road in one block of time. There are different rules that could end up applying to a driver when they are in control of an HGV, tanker or large passenger vehicle, depending on where they are driving, and the requirements for each are denoted in this piece.
European Union rules
There are three core rules that apply when driving on EU roads:
1. Drivers can only drive for a maximum of nine hours in any one day (although it is legal to drive for a maximum of 10 hours in a solitary day as long as this length of time is hit no more than twice per week)
2. Drivers cannot exceed a driving time of more than 56 hours in any one week (Sunday to Saturday)
3. If working for two weeks in a row, drivers are legally not allowed to spend more than 90 hours on the road. This means a maximum of 45 hours per week
It is also worth noting that all hours driven have to legally be recorded by a device known as a ‘tachograph’, which tracks and records speed, distance and time spent travelling within a vehicle.
The EU also suggests that all drivers should be ‘resting’ for a minimum of 11 hours during any single 24-hour period, should experience an ‘unbroken’ resting period of at least 45 hours every week, and should ensure they include a 45-minute break for every four hours driven.
The rules for those driving on GB roads are somewhat similar to those utilised throughout the EU, but there are some differences that are worth highlighting.
1. Drivers are not allowed to drive for more than 10 hours in any one day if they are using public roads
2. Drivers are not allowed to be ‘on duty’ – which is regarded as the time spent driving or loading/unloading goods – for any more than 11 hours in a solitary day
3. Drivers must ensure that for every five-and-a-half-hour period spent driving, they take a break of at least half an hour
4. Drivers must ensure that they have a break of at least 10 hours between any two working days
5. For every two weeks worked, drivers are legally obligated to have at least one period without working that lasts a minimum of 24 hours
Similar to the EU ruling, all drivers must ensure that hours worked and miles travelled are accurately recorded via a tachograph.