Vision Techniques

Drivers’ hours law – A key contributor to safety on the motorways?

If you drive a heavy goods vehicle or a passenger-carrying vehicle you must follow rules on how many hours you can drive and the breaks that you need to take.

These rules are set out in Drivers’ hours regulations that apply in GB and the EU.

These rules exist to protect everyone on the road and ensure a level playing field between commercial road transport operators

However, according to The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) one in six deaths on our motorways is caused by drivers who have fallen asleep at the wheel.

As an employer, you must monitor your mobile workers’ working time and ensure that the limits aren’t exceeded.

Working time needs to be recorded and kept on record for at least 2 years.

The definitive device for recording HGV drivers’ hours is the tachograph and all drivers are required to download their driver card data at least every 28 days.

It is this data that will give a Transport Manager the full picture on drivers’ hours so more frequent downloads would enable them to spot any issues earlier.

Drivers’ hours infringements frequently comes top of the most reported offences by VOSA.

This may be due to increased congestion where drivers can get caught in slow moving traffic causing delays to their journey through no fault of their own.

On the other hand, some drivers may feel pressurised by rogue operators to cut corners because of the current economic climate.

The lack of strict enforcement may tempt some operators who think they will never get caught and others will claim ignorance.

Attempting to deliberately falsify tachograph records in order to mask drivers’ hours infringements is extremely serious and exceeding drivers’ hours through ignorance is inexcusable.

Tachograph analysis solutions, such as Smartanalysis, make it easy to see exactly where all your drivers stand with respect to drivers’ hours legislation and show the authorities that you have systems and processes in place to manage your compliance.

With one in six deaths on our motorways attributed to drivers falling asleep at the wheel it is good to see VOSA enforcing compliance with drivers’ hours law.