Goods and passenger vehicle drivers must observe drivers’ hours rules and working time rules, unless exempt. The businesses operating those vehicles must also comply with their legal obligations.
If a business and its drivers do not comply with the rules they are at risk of action being taken. Some may unnecessarily also be following rules that do not apply to them.
Drivers and operators of goods vehicles over 3.5t (including vehicle/ trailer combinations) and passenger carrying vehicles with more than eight passenger seats must install and use tachograph recording equipment and observe the rules relating to rests, breaks and driving limits.
There are many exemptions and relaxations. An understanding of how they apply is vital to a business. Whether it needs to observe the EU rules affects the running of a business and can have important consequences for scheduling, staffing and operating costs.
Road Transport Working Time rules
Drivers and crew (known as ‘mobile workers’) must observe working time rules specific to road transport activities. In broad terms they apply if the EU Rules apply. These rules are not the same as the Working Time Regulations.
No opt-out is permitted though some provisions can be modified by agreement e.g. night work.
GB Domestic Rules
Goods and passenger carrying vehicle activities that are exempt from the EU tachograph rules will be subject to GB Domestic Rules. Again there are exemptions to this requirement or the need to keep records depending on various factors including the nature of the activity, distance, duration of daily driving and the number of passenger seats.
Drivers and operators of goods vehicles not more than 3.5t i.e. vans are subject to these rules, again.
The Road Transport Working Time rules do not apply here so an opt-out from the 48-hour working week is permitted.