Call our Sales Team on 0208 912 2120

Now three sets of hours rules for British drivers

16th March 1973, Page 23
16th March 1973
Page 23
Page 23, 16th March 1973 — Now three sets of hours rules for British drivers
Noticed an error?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.

Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

EEC control books become usable in UK; mixed work will escape duty and spreadover limits

• Regulations laid on Friday by the Minister for Transport Industries mean that from April 1 three sets of driving hours and records rules will apply to British drivers of most goods vehicles over 3.5 metric tons gross weight and all passenger vehicles with more than nine seats.

From that date the EEC rules governing driving time rest periods and records apply in the UK for drivers on international journeys. For journeys entirely within Great Britain the existing rules of Part VI of the Transport Act 1968 apply until December 31 1975 — but domestic drivers who at present have to keep records may, from April 1, do this on the EEC-style control book.

And from April 1 1973 until December 31 1975 drivers working on both domestic and international journeys in the same week will be bound by the new set of regulations, which allow for driving or work to which the EEC rules apply to be reckoned for the purpose of the Transport Act driving and duty limits. For goods vehicles once a driver has returned to his UK base from an international journey, the new regulations will apply to his domestic work up to seven days from the start of his international journey; or a multiple of seven days if the international journey lasts longer than a week.

The new regs, just made, which bring all this about are the Drivers' Hours (Passenger and Goods Vehicles) (International Rules) Regulations 1973 and the Drivers' Hours (Passenger and Goods Vehicles) (Keeping of Records) (International Rules) Regulations 1973.

This is how different classes of work will be regulated:—

(1 ) Domestic journeys

Rules remain unchanged, except that EEC control book can be used instead of present UK record sheets if desired. The EEC sheets show a graphical record of work and rest; goods vehicle drivers will have to complete daily sheets in duplicate; employers will have to retain the loose sheets, and subsequently the record book, and also maintain a register of record books issued.

(2) International journeys

From April 1 1973 the EEC regulations on hours and records apply to both Continental and domestic portions of an international journey.

Drivers engaged on international work must use the EEC control book, limit their driving to 8 hours a day and take a 30-minute break after 4 hours at the wheel; or, if their vehicle grosses more than 20 metric tons, a break of one hour after 4 hours driving. (Unlike the UK rules, this is driving time, not duty time.) Drivers of vehicles not exceeding 20 metric tons gross weight may extend their daily driving hours from 8 to 9 on two days in a week.

Normally, daily rest periods of 11 hours will be required for goods drivers (10 for passenger drivers) though concessions will be made on a limited number of days a week and in the case of double manning.

Drivers must also have a rest period of 24 consecutive hours in every week immediately preceding or following a daily rest period. Total driving time must not exceed 48 hours in seven consecutive days or 92 in any 14 consecutive days.

Drivers of artics over 20 metric tons gross weight, or any vehicle with more than one trailer, may not exceed 450km (281 miles) between daily rest periods unless accompanied by another driver.

(3) Mixed UK/Continental work

A driver whose work involves both UK domestic and international journeys within the same week will be the most affected by the new regulations.

As outlined earlier, the new rules will apply to his domestic journeys up to 7 days from the start of his international journey (or a multiple of 7 days if the international journey lasts for more than a week).

In this period the new regulations will require a driver, from April 1, to take a break of 30min after 5+ hours driving (not 5+ hours "duty", as is the Transport Act requirement); but no duty or spreadover limits are specified.

The driver must have a daily rest period of 11 hours, though this may be reduced to 9 or 8 hours on two occasions in a week. The weekly rest period is 24 consecutive hours immediately preceding or following a daily rest period.

Like drivers on international work, those on mixed domestic/international journeys in the same week must keep records in the EEC control book, not on the UK record sheets.

A DoE spokesman told CM this week that the golden rule for passenger vehicle drivers to remember was that they should not exceed the hours laid down at present in Part VI of the Transport Act 1968.

The new regulations are contained in Statutory. Instrument No. 379: 1973 and SI No. 380: 1973, available from HMSO or any bookseller.

For goods vehicle drivers the new rules are spelt out in A guide to international goods vehicle drivers' hours and records, and for passenger drivers in leaflets Int. PL and PSV 149 (psv only) which will soon be available from Traffic Offices.

Some effects Johnny Johnson writes: The most significant change will relate to the driver on mixed international and UK work, arising from the absence of duty and spreadover limits.

Take the hypothetical case of a driver who has spent three days on an international journey and who has still four days left in his working week. Provided he is employed on work within the UK on those days, the daily rest period of 11 hours leaves him 13 hours during which he is avaLlable for duty.

This means that for the remaining four days he can drive for 10 hours and be on duty 13 hours if he so wishes.

. Further, the rest period may be reduced to 9 or even 8 hours on two occasions a week. Therefore, if such a driver has not taken his 9 or 8hr periods of rest while on the international journey, he may elect to do so in this country. In that case, 15 or 16 hours on each of two of the days remaining are available as "duty time".

There are, then, obvious advantages to both driver and employer in mixing international and UK work.


People: Johnny Johnson

comments powered by Disqus