The UK law requires all professional HGV and PCV drivers to follow the drivers hours rule and log their work hours and breaks by using a tachograph. For this purpose, they can either use a traditional tachograph which uses a wax chart or a modern digital tachograph.
All drivers using tachographs must comply with certain rules. Unfortunately, none of the tachographs alert you if you unknowingly break a rule. This is why we have compiled a list of these laws, for you to understand and follow. This document covers the basic drivers hours rules and does not give details of any exemptions.
The 4.5 Hours Rule
You can take 45 minutes break after driving for 4.5 hours.
You can take 45 minutes break in 2 parts. The first part has to be a minimum of 15 minutes and the second of at least 30 minutes. These breaks cannot be taken in the opposite order. Any break of fewer than 15 minutes will count as work.
In a day, a driver can drive for up to 9 hours. This can be increased to 10 hours twice in a given week.
You may drive for up to 56 hours in a week. This has to be done in no more than 6 consecutive duties in a week.
The maximum number of hours a driver can drive for in two consecutive weeks is 90.
A minimum rest of 11 hours must be taken in a 24 hour period. You can reduce this to 9 hours for a maximum of 3 times during a week. If you take a long break of at least 3 hours during work, it can be considered as a part of your daily rest.
These are only a few of the drivers hours rules. For more rules and details, please refer to the VOSA Rule Book which is available online. Remember by breaking a rule you would not only commit an offense but would also put your life and others’ to risk.