Driver Hours Rules

HGV/LGV Drivers Hours Rules

A new EC Regulation on drivers’ hours (Regulation (EC) 561/2006) was agreed in December 2006 the main requirements of which came into force on 11 April 2007. The new Regulation clarifies weekly driving limits; requires more frequent and evenly spread breaks; increases daily rest requirements; and updates exemptions and national derogations. Some elements, mainly relating to changes to the existing tachograph rules, came into force on 1 May 2006 (20 days after the Regulation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union). These include a change to the number of tachograph charts that drivers are required to carry with them for the purposes of roadside checks and the mandatory fitment of digital tachographs in any in-scope vehicles first put into service on or after 1 May 2006. This second edition reflects these changes.

Source: VOSA (replaced by the DVSA in 2014)

The UK Drivers’ Hours and Tachograph rules publications from the DVSA are available at the following locations:

General guidance for lorry, bus and coach drivers from the UK government:

Breakdown of Rules by Category

The daily driving limit is 9 hours which, can be increased to 10 hours twice a week without need for compensation, taken between two consecutive daily rest periods or between a daily rest period and a weekly rest period. From 11 April 2007 where a vehicle travels on both public and private roads all the driving must be counted.

Failure to comply will result in a Driving Infringement.

A maximum of 56 hours in one week and 90 hours in any two consecutive weeks.

After 4.5 hours of cumulative or continuous driving a driver must take a break of at least 45 minutes. A driver may split the break in two parts provided the first is at least 15 minutes and the second at least 30 minutes distributed over the 4.5 hour period.

During any break a driver must not drive or undertake other work. If a vehicle is manned by 2 drivers, one of them may take a break on the vehicle whilst the other drives.

The calculation of the 4.5 hour cumulative or continuous driving starts afresh after each 45 minute break.

Failure to comply will result in a Driving Infringement.

In each period of 24 hours, a driver must have a minimum daily rest of 11 consecutive hours. This may be reduced to 9 hours up to 3 times per week without any need for compensation.

Alternatively daily rest may be split into two periods. The first period must be at least 3 hours long and the second at least 9 hours long. This effectively equates to 12 hours rest but allows more flexible shift working.

The daily rest period may be taken in a vehicle, as long as it is fitted with a bunk and is stationary.

Failure to comply will result in a Daily Rest Infringement or a Reduced Daily Rest Infringement.

A weekly rest period is a period of at least 45 hours of continuous rest. A weekly rest period can be reduced to a minimum of 24 hours provided the reduction is compensated for by an equivalent continuous rest period before the end of the third week following the reduced week. The compensation must be attached to a rest period of at least nine hours. In any two consecutive weeks a rest period of at least one full weekly rest (45 hours) and one reduced weekly rest (24 hours) must be taken.

A maximum of six 24hr periods are allowed before a weekly rest must be taken. A weekly rest period which begins in one week and continues into the following week may be attached to either week but not both weeks.

Failure to comply will result in a Weekly Rest Infringement.

Source for driving infringement data: Department of Transport (UK).

For more detailed information, click here.