Department for Transport
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Government launches review of driving hours rules

A wide ranging consultation on the hours many van, bus and other professional drivers can work was launched recently by Transport Minister Paul Clark.

Drivers’ hours rules set daily driving and duty limits, and in some instances break and rest requirements, in order to improve road safety, promote good working conditions and ensure fair competition between operators.

The consultation published today covers the UK domestic drivers' hours rules. As well as van and many bus drivers, these apply to refuse collection and breakdown vehicles and a range of other professional drivers. They do not apply to lorries or buses on longer routes, which come under the scope of European Union drivers’ hours rules. 

Paul Clark said:

"The domestic drivers' hours rules affect thousands of workers across the UK so it is vital that they are effective in keeping drivers, passengers and other road users safe. 

"This is a wide ranging consultation and we want to hear from as many drivers, operators and fleet managers as possible so that we can understand how the rules are working on the ground."

The consultation is part of a comprehensive review of the domestic rules and although it proposes no legislative changes the responses will be used to inform future policy decisions.

Notes to editors


1. Copies of the consultation report will be available on the Department for Transport’s website at www.dft.gov.uk/consultations.

2. The consultation will close on 13 October 2009.

3. The UK domestic drivers' hours rules set daily driving and duty limits, and in some instances break and rest requirements. They apply to most goods and passenger vehicles driven in the UK that are not covered by the EU drivers' hours rules (Regulation (EC) 561/2006).

4. The drivers who work in the following industry sectors and/or who drive these classifications of vehicles are likely to work under the UK domestic drivers' hours rules:

-  Vans not exceeding 3.5 tonnes (in Great Britain (GB) but not in Northern Ireland (NI));

-  Passenger transport (operating on regular routes up to 50km);

-  Tradesmen (e.g. building/construction);

-  NHS & publicly owned medical vehicles;

-  Refuse collection;

-  Local authority services for the elderly & disabled;

-  Milk delivery vehicles;

-  Utilities & road maintenance (e.g. gas/water);

-  Breakdown;

-  Agricultural, fishing and forestry;

-  Charity work (where employed drivers are used);

-  Special vehicles (e.g. vehicles that operate on natural gas, electric or are not capable of speeds over 40km).

5. Further details of the UK domestic drivers' hours rules can be found on the DfT and Driver and Vehicle Agency (NI) websites.

Rules on Drivers' Hours and Tachographs for Goods Vehicles in the UK and Europe
http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/freight/road/workingtime/drivershoursgoods.pdf

Rules on Drivers' Hours and Tachographs for Passenger Vehicles in the UK and Europe
http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/drs/drivingforwork/drivershoursandtachographrules/drivershourtachographrules.pdf

Drivers' Hours and Tachograph Rules for Goods Vehicles in Northern Ireland and Europe
http://www.dvtani.gov.uk/uploads/publications/general/DrivershoursandTachographRulesforGoodsVehiclesNorthernIrelandandEurope.pdf

Drivers' Hours and Tachograph Rules for Passenger Vehicles in Northern Ireland and Europe
http://www.dvtani.gov.uk/uploads/publications/general/DriversHoursandTachographRulesforRoadPassengerVehiclesNorthernIrelandandEurope.pdf

6. The Department has also commissioned research as part of the review of the domestic drivers’ hours rules. Links to this research can be found at the DfT website at: www.dft.gov.uk/consultations

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Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk/

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