Driving Hours (a professional driver's hours) and Tachograph Rules for commercial drivers or long distance drivers, also the White Van Man, can be complicated. The government, under EU rules, strictly controls the hours drivers can be on duty and/or at the wheel. These rules allow for domestic rules in some cases and exceptions in some cases. Digital Tachographs have now entered the driver's cab and the old tacho is destined for the bin.
This page was placed here in 1996, but it has changed over the years. It is now December 2012 and some rules change or adjust, so we need to keep pace with professional drivers' hours.
In 2012 roads have more and more accidents, which hold up traffic and throw a driver's driving hours into shambles at times. What can a driver do? He or she wants to stay legal, and there is latitude allowing you to get to a safe place and your transport manager must help you. They must understand that while the job has to be done the law must not be broken. VOSA are human beings and having a conversation with them is not a bad idea for your transport manager. He or she has a legal duty to see that you can do your job legally without causing a problem for any driving hours.
If you are really unhappy about something you can call me and I will talk to VOSA and get some answers while you remain anonymous, but you can do it yourself and call yourself 'Fred'. The point is you don't want to break any law, what driver does?
Downloads are available on this website, which allow you to get the latest information from Her Majesties Government websites. You can see also other downloads that are useful to allow you to get the information you require. This page is monitored to ensure it delivers top quality information easily.
Links to Her Majesties Government & EU Commission Websites where printable downloads can be obtained
Drivers' Hours (see van drivers' hours further down)
DRIVERS HOURS & TACHOGRAPH RULES PRINTABLE DOWNLOADS for PASSENGER (PSV PCV) & (HGV LGV) GOODS VEHICLES in the UK and Europe (PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST PAGES VOSA HAS HAD FOR ALL DRIVERS). (good printable downloads)
DRIVERS HOURS & TACHOGRAPH RULES (TRY THE ABOVE LINK FIRST FOR VOSA DRIVERS HOURS DOWNLOADS) INFORMATION ON THE BUSINESS WEBSITE for PASSENGER (PSV PCV) & (HGV LGV) GOODS VEHICLES in the UK and Europe (good Printable downloads)
HGV ETC... DIGITAL TACHO CARDS THAT MALFUNCTION OR LOST.
Download an application for a digital tacho card (This includes new cards or a replacement for a lost or malfunctioning card)
It's worth noting here, so that you can more appreciate the situation. VOSA and the police check you're within the law. The DVLA issue digital tacho cards as they do with your driving licence. Neither of these departments are connected to each other, so if your card is up the proverbial creek you can download your application form for another card from the above link (what you do meantime is contained in the information in the below link). This applies to coach drivers as much as HGV. Please read the page information first in the below link or you can waste a lot of time.
Download the .pdf document with full details on what to do if your card requires replacement. See page 37 for what to do when you can't use your card and then page 34 for how to keep records on such occasions.
Operators information regarding digital Tachographs. Again All Smart Card info regards Digital Tachograph.
WVM van drivers' hours for under 3.5 tons in the UK are controlled by the Work Time Directive, which requires all van drivers obey the GB Domestic Drivers Hours Rules & Health & Safety Executive Rules regarding drivers of vans.
Just remember the trouble comes for an under 3.5 ton van driver if he or she has an accident, especially a serious accident. Please take this seriously. If your hours have not been considerate as per above you can can end up in jail for years. The law says you must have adequate rest, and that really means like an HGV driver. Ignore this at your peril, and also your employer and directors who may be deemed complicit in manslaughter if you kill someone. If proper supervision was not administered over you or you were given too much work to do in your hours you could all go to the slammer together.
On a lighter matter, be aware if you drive a commercial van of over 2 tons you are limited in speed on all A Class roads to 50mph, so if you are caught doing 65 in a 60 area you have committed a bad speeding offence. I have clocked a few speed detection vans travelling at 60mph plus... they obviously feel safe from cameras!
I know you fellows have a hard job, most people don't have a clue how hard it is... more drops than Santa and all that! I did it long before you did, and it was hard, even then. Also get hands free for your mobile phone if you must use i. It really is a killer if you don't. If anyone reading wants to add their sad story to convince other drivers not to read delivery sheets or use a phone while driving write to me.
Be aware that if you are pulling a trailer that takes the vehicle gross train weight to over 3.5 tonnes, you will then need a tachograph and be subject to more stringent restrictions on your driving hours, including detailed record keeping. You should also look at your licence because you may not be qualified to drive with a trailer. If you don't and are stopped by the police then you are driving without a licence and insurance and subject to the serious results of so doing. If your boss asks you to hook up the trailer tell him or her if you don't have a licence, in truth he/she is also responsible for checking you have one, and to do so visually.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PROVIDED AS A RESULT OF MANY VAN DRIVERS FINDING THEMSELVES BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE. The following links to downloads contain data supporting the above but written by HMG and scattered about in different places. However, if you go through these downloads below you will find sections where it says you should keep best practice and have at least 15 minutes break every 2 hours in 6 hours of driving. The work time directive for mobile workers is also there. Download them if you can and print them out - both you and your boss must read them all!
The Driver Hours Guard was again available in April 2008 in its new format. Davey has spent many years on this subject and can reasonably be considered an expert.
I suggest you print some of the drivers' downloads and take them with you in your cab for reference on your nights away or square wheel periods on motorway accidents.
END OF SPECIAL VAN DRIVERS SECTION. OTHER PARTS OF THIS PAGE MAY STILL APPLY
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE TO BREAK DRIVERS' HOURS RULES?
What happens if you have to break EU drivers' hours rules due to unforeseen events? You can break the European Union (EU) drivers' hours rules if it is necessary to reach a suitable stopping place to ensure the safety of people, your vehicle or its load - provided road safety is not put at risk. Don't forget to have your full rest periods/breaks after an over run.
Examples of when this might happen could include:
Driving a goods vehicle carrying an abnormal load, being under instructions given by a police escort.
Delays to your journey caused by severe weather, road traffic accidents or other events that are likely to cause danger to the life or health of people or animals.
You must note all the reasons for breaking EU rules on the back of your tachograph record sheet - if you are using an analogue tachograph - or on a printout or temporary sheet if you are using a digital tachograph. This must be done as soon as you reach a suitable stopping place.
If there are repeated and regular breaches, enforcement officers may well think quite reasonably that an operator is not organising work so drivers can follow the rules. Beware VOSA are not silly, but they are fair. Operators beware, you are legally liable also. Drivers could blow the whistle on you and get protection from VOSA, so be warned keep your drivers legal.
Professional DriversCertificate of Competency CPC information
Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) introduces a new Initial Qualification for drivers entering the lorry and bus industries, which they must complete in order to drive professionally. All professional / vocational bus, coach and lorry drivers must undertake periodic training in order to maintain their Driver CPC. Driver CPC - the Official DSA Guide for Professional Bus and Coach Drivers is available from the DSA Bookshop. Please see the link further down taking you to the government website where you can obtain all the details you need.
It can take hours for those requiring information, to find all the details that they need from the various agencies, which is why we have supplied all the information you could need in this one place. On this page I have tried to assist by looking over the web and acquiring everything that I can find to help you. If you find that the information you require is not easily obtainable from this page or you find a dead link please e-mail the Webmaster. Such has been the volume of mails that on a bad day it has taken me 6 hours to answer them all or deal with them, passing complicated ones on to the Expert. The Expert has become himself so busy that he is now unable to give the time.
As a final resort, should you be in urgent need then a Traffic Commissioner can be e-mailed or telephoned in your region. The reason for keeping to your home region is to spread the task evenly over the UK rather than have one Traffic commissioner answering questions for all the UK. You may find the office will not ask you for your name and address,but you may decline it if asked. The important thing is that we don't break the law, and if you think you may have you can correct the situation without fear. I do suggest using the phone to ask a question, as in my experience this department pays no attention to E Mails.
New rules for Coach drivers are (were and still might be) being considered dated May 2010 which combine the different lengths of coachs into one set of max 65mph speed restrictions.
New rules are also being considered dated May 2010 for 7500kg vehicles which at present can use the outside lane of motorways and travel up to 70mph. This may reduce to 60mph to the same as HGVs above 7500kg.
The speed limits proposals mentioned in the last two paragraphs are approximate and may equate to km.
Professional Drivers Certificate of Competency CPC information. This will take you to the route page for CPC information concerning Coach Drivers and HGV drivers. IT IS WORTH MENTIONING THAT YOU SHOULD CLAIM ANY COSTS HERE AGAINST TAX UNLESS YOUR COMPANY PAYS FOR ALL THE COSTS AND EXPENSES YOU INCUR. After all it may be possible for drivers to use the same book, unless the law says otherwise, if you all don't have to take the test at the same time, which would seem logically unlikely. 3 or 4 books might be enough for 10 or 20 drivers.
This covers drivers and companies who break the law with regards to breaches of drivers' hours rules This should cover the subject regarding whistle blowing facilities. It means any driver or worker involved in having to break the law can approach a Traffic Commissioner in confidence and get protected by gathering evidence against the offender. There is job protection involved in this facility. First a phone call to a Traffic Commissioner in anon status to find out all current rules. Withholding your number is not uncommon in the first instance.
(THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN MOVED WITH ZERO FORWARDING FACILITY SET UP. CHECKING DAILY FOR NEW LOCATION DATED FRIDAY 16TH NOVEMBER 2012) WHAT SHOULD BE HERE IS AS FOLLOWS...
Towng Trailers and do you need a Tachograph? (Printable downloads) This is a very good page with much of the text linked so be aware and use your curser to hover over the item or questions you are reading. Remember that working with a 50km radius you can be exempt depending on what you do, so look at the exceptions in the EU drivers hours. (PLEASE ALSO NOTE THIS PAGE IS ARCHIVED BY HMG CIVIL SERVANTS BECAUSE OF A NEW GOVERNMENT, BUT NO DIRECT OR REAL REPLACEMENT IS AVAILABLE AND THE LAW HAS NOT YET BEEN CHANGED DATED August 2012)
Many of the below pages are also updated.
Longer Semi Trailers for HGV All the details you need on this page.
HEALTH INSURANCE COVER AND ADVICE IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING ABROAD.
VOSA MANUALS regarding Drivers' Hours and Tachograph Rules from the Traffic Commissioners
You can download these and print them yourself or contact VOSA for a manual free of charge. These are a must for Transport Managers and Drivers.
DIGITAL TACHOGRAPH OR DRIVER SMART CARDS RENEWAL OR APPLICATION FORM
There are two forms that can be used to apply for A DRIVER'S DIGITAL TACHOGRAPH OR SMART CARD Renewal or first time application.
Form D777B (active download link) for original or renewal of a driver's digital tachograph card, also known as a Smart Card
The DVLA will accept either form and I have supplied a download link here for the D777B form so print it out fill it in and send it off.
DO NOT SEND YOUR CURRENT CARD AWAY, YOU NEED IT AND YOU MUST KEEP IT WITH YOU FOR 28 DAYS AFTER THE NEW CARD STARTS IN CASE VOSA OR THE POLICE ASK FOR IT
VOSA Links page where you can get all information for vehicle testing, rules, regulations, E Mail addresses, phone numbers. You can phone and ask drivers' hours questions.
Operators Licence for Lorries & Coaches, Specialist Loads Information. PLUS as follows: Operating Abroad, International Trade, Vehicle Tests. Applying for a Van operating Licence information, Dangerous Goods Transportation and more!
The Highway Code for the UK. For those outside the UK (and quite a few inside|) who think the Highway Code is not obligatory or need not be adhered to, you are wrong! The police can make various charges against you for failure to comply, so be very wise and treat it as a must.
DRIVERS' MEDICAL INFORMATION SECTION - VARIOUS LINKS TO VARIOUS PAGES COLLECTED HERE!
Professional Drivers' Medical Information This Government page has many links to informative pages on this subject.
HGV or LGV DRIVERS LICENCE Large goods vehicles and Passenger vehicles licence information. PLEASE NOTE. The term HGV & LGV can mean different things to different government departments. One department uses the term LGV to mean large goods vehicle, which means a 44 toner or HGV as we all know it. I regret that another department uses, did use, the term LGV to mean over 3.5 tons and up to 7.5 tonnes. This however may have changed as I write this. In 2009 different government departments still have some confusion depending on whom you talk to or what you read. Please be aware of this when reading any government information.
Medical Practitioners guide to a Drivers Medical condition for driving. A PDF downloadable book for computer use or printing out.
All and any UK drivers information page regards licence data. This is a general page for all drivers, professional or otherwise.
BUYING A NEW CAR
Domestic private cars MPG - all the technical data you could need.
UK Government data on all NEW cars being sold On arrival at the page leave the values and click next, and you can then look for the value or car type/maker by clicking the top of each column header.
European Information - Book your travel ticket road, rail, air, sea - Highway CodeInformation UK
European Commission UK Representation Office Transport & Energy All types of Energy & Transport in the EU region, many links from Canal boats to HGV and Satellites in Orbit.
European Commission (actual Office) This is the main EU website home page with links to transport and everything else. I suggest if it's transport information you seek that you try both this and the above link.
European Commission Lisbon Treaty The Lisbon Treaty can be found here but the above link is the mMain EU website home page with links to transport and everything else. I suggest if its transport information you seek that you try both this and the above link.
Public Transport Booking Service for the UK This website once worked well for me, it is easy to follow. Go by coach, train or fly, and from my experience using this site all the discounts are available. Remember I cannot cover it all 100%, this was just my experience. Note! When you start your search for transport... click the little COST button first.
SPEED CAMERA LOCATIONS
Fixed & Mobile Speed Camera Locations in the UK. Updated May 2012. Where will they be tomorrow or next week? Find out here! CLICK THE MAP when you arrive on the page.
Mobile Phones & Mobile Ham Radio from your Vehicle (The Law)
The Radio Society of Great Britain made representations to HMG whilst this legislation was being formed. As a result Ham Radio is exempt and can be operated whilst driving, as it always has been, but it is subject the law as it has always been applied. Responsible operation is required, for example your hands must be free and on the steering wheel when negotiating a roundabout or any other movements that a police officer would expect a driver to have full vehicle control. I will update this when I have more information. Other users like CB Radio have the same special consideration.
The booklet on this (the above link) can be obtained for a few pounds. The Statutory Instrument No. 2695 can be viewed at: The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2003 Statutory Instrument 2003 No 2695. This lays out clearly the exemptions under the new law. This Law applies to CB Radio and other handheld radios used in vehicles. Please read the Statutory Instrument in this regard. My word on this or any other person means nothing, as it is my appreciation of the law, which may be incorrect, even if I believe it to be correct.