To ensure safe driving practices and prevent driver fatigue, certain limits and rules apply:
Taking regular breaks is crucial for staying alert and preventing fatigue:
Breaks after 4.5 Hours of Driving: After a continuous or intermittent driving period of 4.5 hours, you must take a break of at least 45 minutes, unless you opt for a rest period instead.
Split Breaks: You can split your break into two periods. The first break must be a minimum of 15 minutes, and the subsequent break should be at least 30 minutes. These breaks must be completed after 4.5 hours of driving.
Clarification on Short Breaks: Breaks of less than 15 minutes are not considered valid breaks, although they are not classified as driving time either.
To ensure drivers receive adequate rest, specific rest period requirements are set:
Regular Daily Rest Period: A daily rest period of 11 hours is mandatory. It can be split into two periods, with the first period requiring an uninterrupted rest of at least 3 hours, followed by an uninterrupted rest of at least 9 hours, totaling a minimum of 12 hours.
Reduced Daily Rest Period: Drivers can choose a reduced daily rest period of a minimum of 9 hours, not exceeding 11 hours. However, this can only be done up to three times a week.
Weekly Rest Period: A weekly rest period of 45 hours is required, although it can be reduced to 24 hours once in a two-week period. This reduction is allowed only if at least one full rest period of 45 hours is taken. Additionally, there should not be more than six consecutive 24-hour periods between weekly rests.
In addition to drivers' hours, the working time directive plays a crucial role:
Working Time (Including Driving): The average working time should not exceed 48 hours per week, typically calculated over a rolling 17-week period. However, collective or workforce agreements may extend this calculation period to 26 weeks.
Maximum Working Time in One Week: The maximum working time in a single week is 60 hours, provided the average working time of 48 hours per week is not exceeded.
Maximum Working Time for Night Work: If night work is performed, the maximum working time allowed is 10 hours. However, this limit can be extended through collective or workforce agreements.
Giving due importance to breaks during work hours is crucial, alongside drivers' hours requirements:
- Break after
6 Hours: It is important to take a minimum break of 15 minutes after working for more than 6 hours.
Breaks for Longer Shifts: If your shift extends between 6 and 9 hours, a break totaling at least 30 minutes is necessary. This can be split into two 15-minute breaks.
Extended Break for More than 9 Hours: If your shift exceeds 9 hours, a break period totaling 45 minutes is required.
The rest requirements under the working time directive align with the EU drivers' hours rest rules.
Understanding and adhering to HGV drivers' hours and working time regulations are crucial for ensuring driver safety and well-being. By following the guidelines provided in this comprehensive guide, HGV drivers, transport managers, and HGV owner drivers can navigate these regulations with greater ease. Remember, even if you operate solely within the UK, you are still obligated to comply with these rules.
For further details and access to the complete documents on EU drivers' hours and the working time directive for HGV drivers, we recommend visiting the .Gov website. At the FTC, we are committed to equipping you with the necessary knowledge to ensure compliance and foster a safer road environment for all.