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February 06, 2024

Key rules on Driver’s hours and Tachographs - PSVs

Key rules on Driver’s hours and Tachographs - PSVs

Date updated:
Key rules on Driver’s hours and Tachographs - PSVs

The key rules on drivers' hours and tachographs for Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), which include buses and coaches, are designed to regulate the working hours, driving time, and rest periods of professional drivers. These regulations are crucial for ensuring the safety of passengers and preventing driver fatigue. The rules vary according to the work being undertaken. In  general terms most bus journeys will operate under the Domestic Drivers Hours rules whereas coach work including private hire will usually operate under EU rules.

Drivers' Hours Rules for PSVs:

Daily Driving Limit:

The maximum number of hours a driver can spend driving under EU rules in a single day is usually 9 hours, with the possibility of extending to 10 hours twice a week. Under Domestic rules the limit is 10 hours daily.

Daily Rest Period:

A minimum continuous rest period of 11 hours must be taken within a 24-hour period, with a reduction to 9 hours allowed up to three times between two weekly rest periods under EU rules. You must take a rest of at least 10 hours between 2 working days which can be reduced to 8.5 hours up to 3 times a week under Domestic rules.

Weekly Rest Period:

Under EU rules a minimum continuous rest period of 45 hours must be taken within a fixed week. This can be reduced to 24 hours every other week, but the reduction must be compensated in the following week. Under Domestic rules every 2 weeks you must take at least one period of 24 hours off duty.

Breaks and Rests:

Drivers must take breaks during driving periods, and there are specific rules regarding the duration and timing of breaks which vary according to the rules that apply. In very simple terms under EU rules one must take a 45 minute break after 4 ½ hours continuous driving. Under Domestic Rules one must take at least 30 minutes break after 5 ½ hours continuous driving but there are variations to this.

Tachograph Rules for PSVs:

Mandatory Use of Tachographs:

PSVs that may undertake EU work are required to be equipped with tachograph devices to record driving time, rest periods, and other relevant information.

Recording Driving Time:

Tachographs record the driver's activities, including driving time, rest breaks, and other work-related periods.

Digital Tachographs:

Modern PSVs are equipped with digital tachographs, which store data electronically. They may include features such as automatic recording of location data.

Driver Cards:

Drivers are issued with digital tachograph driver cards, which are used to activate the tachograph and store data about the driver's activities.

Download and Analysis:

Operators must regularly download and analyse tachograph data to ensure compliance with regulations and address any issues promptly.

Enforcement and Penalties:

The DVSA and Police conduct checks and inspections to analyse tachograph data. Non-compliance may result in penalties, fines, or report to the Traffic Commissioner.

Training Requirements:

Drivers and operators are expected to undergo training on the proper use of tachographs and compliance with recording rules.

These rules are in place to ensure the safety of PSV drivers and passengers. Compliance with these regulations is essential for operators and drivers to prevent fatigue-related incidents and maintain a high standard of safety in passenger transport.