Driving Hours

I feel a FAQ answer coming on….
But in the meantime….

If they’re only driving vehicles that aren’t on tacho they’re covered by the Working Time Directive but not by the Road Transport Directive – so they’re allowed to opt out of the hours requirement of the WTD.

They’re also covered by the UK domestic driving rules which limits them to a maximum of 10 hours per day driving and 11 hours per day total ‘duty time’.

No written records need to be kept, but if your employee was to drive for say 11 hours a day and had an accident that killed someone (or him) you’d probably be charged with manslaughter.

Posted under Courier Basics, Drivers' Hours, Employment

Posted by Alec at 1:14 pm, April 26, 2008

5 Comments so far

  1. Alec added on  April 28th, 2008 at 16:00

    Anyway, I’ve got a question for anyone who understands the domestic driving hours rules:

    If you double man a vehicle is the second man still counted as being ‘on duty’ while he’s not driving? The VOSA guidance says “Duty: In the case of an employee driver, this means being on duty (whether driving or otherwise) for anyone who employs him as a driver. This includes all periods of work and driving, but does not include rest or breaks. Employers should also remember that they have additional obligations to ensure that drivers receive adequate rest under health and safety legislation.

    For owner drivers, this means driving a vehicle connected with their business, or doing any other work connected with the vehicle and its load.”

    So is the man sitting in the passenger seat doing nothing on rest time or duty time?

  2. Stuart added on  October 31st, 2008 at 07:21

    I’ve got another question on this, regarding van drivers….

    If someone drive a van to place of work (say they’re a builder)…. and they do 12 hours at work, then drive home. Does the regulation say this is ok?

    If so, how many hours can you work / drive?

  3. Alec added on  October 31st, 2008 at 08:04

    If the driving is part of your paid working time then you’re covered by the drivers hours rules. BUT you’re only covered by them if you drive for more than 4 hours a day.

    I’d guess that as a builder you’re not likely to be driving for 4 hours a day anyway so the rules wouldn’t apply. You’re still covered by the Working Time Directive and the Health and Safety at Work Act though if you feel the hours are too much for you.

  4. Mark Jennigns added on  September 17th, 2012 at 20:02


    What is the situation with couriers that drive cars. I feel I have been over worked over the past three months often spending 10-16 hours a day on duty.

  5. Drivers’ hours rules only apply to drivers of goods vehicles, so there’s no specific legislation which applies to couriers using cars or bikes. However your employer (assuming you’re employed) has a duty of care towards you and, more importantly, YOU are the one who’s responsible for your actions as a driver.

    If you were involved in accident after driving as part of your job for 16 hours then the courts would undoubtedly throw the book at you – if you were alive to be prosecuted.

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