Today is the day that new driver’s hours’ weekly rest rules come in to action. The DVSA will now be able to punish HGV drivers who take their full weekly rest breaks in their cabs outside of appropriate rest areas such as service stations and truck stops. This means that any driver caught taking their weekly rest in public lay-bys, on public roads or on motorway slip roads will be fined.
There is a concern within the industry that the new rules have not been communicated well enough to drivers.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “We are worried that many operators won’t know of the change in the law and could be fined if they park inappropriately.
“Rest facilities for HGV drivers are scarce and in order to comply with their working hours they need somewhere safe and secure to rest. The authorities are duty-bound to tackle this urgent problem.
“Punishing drivers for illegal parking is one thing, but changes to the current, poorly equipped infrastructure must be made in order to keep Britain’s economy moving.”
The RHA recommends that where weekend rests are taken in paid for lorry parking facilities that drivers keep receipts to demonstrate they have parked appropriately.
These new rules come at a time when more foreign drivers are being fined for not following the HGV drivers’ hours’ rules and regulations.
Returnloads.net have put together a simplified guide to HGV driving hours which will help drivers to understand the regulations and when they need to take a break.
DVSA have the power to issue on the spot fines to any driver for any drivers hours offences that have been committed in the last 4 weeks. This means in a roadside check they can issue fines up to £1500 (5 drivers hours offences) for drivers who have regularly broken the drivers hours rules, regardless of whether the offences occurred in the UK or anywhere else.
These new fines will also apply to foreign HGV drivers who are caught breaking the rules on UK roads. For foreign drivers who are not based in the UK they will have to pay their fines immediately then and there or they will not be allowed to continue their journey and the DVSA will immobilise their vehicle until such time the fine has been paid in full.
DVSA will issue fines to HGV drivers who are not taking proper resting breaks. Drivers must have a 45 hour rest period a minimum of every fortnight. Now the DVSA will issue fines up to £300 if drivers are spending their full weekly rest period in their vehicles, in places which could cause issues.
Be sure to follow these new rules as the fines are large.