Drivers' hours

Policy

In the last 10 years, significant changes have been made to drivers' hours, working time and tachograph rules; FTA members have agreed that the Association should press for a period of stability in these policy areas and resist any major alterations. However, it appears likely that the European Commission will propose legislative changes to the rules during 2017. These may result in application of the rules to some vehicles below 3.5 tonnes and include a duty limit in the rules whilst scrapping the Working Time Directive.

Impact of Brexit

The UK remains a full member of the EU until it has left which, under the terms of the Treaty, will be up to two years after the UK Government has invoked ‘Article 50’. Until that point all EU laws remain in place and apply in full – this includes any changes made to the rules in Brussels before we leave.

However, at the point of leaving there will be possible opportunities to make changes to laws which originally derive from Brussels. FTA members have indicated that the existing rules are appropriate and proportionate, and that there remains a need for a 'two tier' system, recognising the differences between current domestic and EU rules operations. Members will consider in due course whether it is important to keep the rules ‘in step’ with Europe, as it makes changes, to avoid confusion for international traffic, or whether a 'three tier' system would be preferable.

European laws are usually introduced with a lead time, which can be around two years. So while it is likely that any changes to EU drivers hours rules resulting from the expected amendments may not come into force before we leave, it is likely that they will make it onto the statute books in time.

The Government has indicated that, in the first instance, all existing EU laws will be transcribed into domestic law at the time we leave. It remains to be seen how laws which are on the statue books but not yet in force will be dealt with.

Find further information on FTA’s work representing the logistics industry during Brexit here.

Compliance

The hours a driver can drive are strictly controlled by regulations known collectively as the drivers' hours rules. These rules maintain safety standards and deal with maximum driving times, breaks and minimum rest periods. Drivers’ hours rules apply to both goods and passenger vehicles.

Use the downloadable documents and links below for more information on driver hours.

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