Driving a large goods vehicle (LGV), commonly referred to as a lorry, is a demanding and responsible job that requires significant skill and training. UK lorry drivers are subject to strict regulations and rules to ensure their safety and that of other road users. One of the most critical regulations is the driving hours limit, which is enforced to prevent fatigue-related accidents. In this article, we will delve into the current driving hours that UK lorry drivers adhere to when driving in the UK.
The current driving hours for UK lorry drivers
The current driving hours for UK lorry drivers are:
Daily driving limit: The daily driving limit for UK lorry drivers is nine hours. This means that a lorry driver cannot drive for more than nine hours in a single day.
Weekly driving limit: The weekly driving limit for UK lorry drivers is 56 hours. This means that a lorry driver cannot drive for more than 56 hours in a week.
Fortnightly driving limit: The fortnightly driving limit for UK lorry drivers is 90 hours. This means that a lorry driver cannot drive for more than 90 hours in a fortnight (two weeks).
Breaks and rest periods: Lorry drivers must take regular breaks and rest periods to ensure that they are not fatigued while driving. They must take a 45-minute break after driving for 4.5 hours. They must also take at least 11 hours of rest every day
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Q: Can UK lorry drivers exceed the driving hours limit in any circumstances?
A: No. UK lorry drivers must adhere to the driving hours limit at all times, even in exceptional circumstances.
Q: Are there any penalties for exceeding the driving hours limit?
A: Yes. If a lorry driver exceeds the driving hours limit, they may face penalties such as fines, prosecution, and license revocation.
Q: Can a lorry driver work beyond their driving hours limit?
A: Yes. Lorry drivers can work beyond their driving hours limit as long as they are not driving. For example, they can load or unload goods or perform administrative tasks.
Q: Do UK lorry drivers need to keep a record of their driving hours?
A: Yes. UK lorry drivers must keep a record of their driving hours and breaks for at least 28 days. This record must be available for inspection by the authorities.
Q: Can UK lorry drivers reduce their rest periods?
A: No. UK lorry drivers must take at least 11 hours of rest every day, and they cannot reduce this period.
Low on Hours Finding Safe Parking
It is a legal requirement for lorry drivers to take regular breaks and rest periods to prevent fatigue-related accidents. However, there may be situations where a driver runs out of hours but cannot find a suitable place to park. In such cases, the driver must take steps to ensure that they are not driving while fatigued.
The UK government has published guidance for lorry drivers on what to do if they cannot find a suitable place to park. This guidance recommends that drivers take the following steps:
Contact the transport office: Drivers should contact their transport office and inform them of the situation. The transport office can then advise the driver on what to do next.
Find a safe place to stop: If the driver cannot find a suitable place to park, they should find a safe place to stop, such as a layby or rest area. The driver should then take a break and rest until they are able to continue driving safely.
Stay safe: It is important for drivers to stay safe while they are taking a break. Drivers should park their vehicle in a well-lit area, lock the doors, and take any other necessary precautions to ensure their safety.
Plan ahead: To prevent situations where a driver cannot find a suitable place to park, drivers should plan their journeys in advance and ensure that they have enough time to take regular breaks and rest periods.
Feeling Tired Within Your Driving Hours
You should not drive if you feel tired within your driving hours. Fatigue is a significant cause of accidents involving large goods vehicles, and it can impair a driver’s ability to drive safely. It is crucial that lorry drivers understand the risks of driving while tired and take steps to prevent fatigue.
The UK government has published guidance for lorry drivers on what to do if they feel tired while driving. This guidance recommends that drivers take the following steps:
Stop driving: If you feel tired while driving, you should stop driving as soon as it is safe to do so. Find a safe place to park, such as a rest area or layby, and take a break.
Rest: Take a break and rest until you feel alert and able to continue driving safely. It is recommended that you take a nap of at least 15 minutes to refresh yourself. You should also stretch your legs and get some fresh air.
Drink caffeine: Drinking caffeine, such as coffee or tea, can help you feel more alert. However, it is essential to remember that caffeine is not a substitute for rest.
Plan your journey: To prevent situations where you feel tired while driving, plan your journey in advance and ensure that you have enough time to take regular breaks and rest periods.
In exceptional circumstances, HGV drivers may be allowed to drive over their permitted hours. This includes situations where unforeseen events occur, such as traffic accidents or severe weather conditions, which could not have been predicted or avoided.
However, it’s important to note that such circumstances are rare, and drivers must be able to demonstrate that driving beyond their permitted hours was necessary to ensure the safety of themselves and other road users. Even in exceptional circumstances, drivers must still adhere to strict regulations and take rest periods to prevent fatigue and maintain their alertness on the road.
Parking Heavy Goods Vehicles In Residential Areas
Parking Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in residential areas can be a contentious issue. Local residents may be concerned about noise pollution, traffic congestion, and the impact on the local environment. It is important for HGV drivers to understand the rules and regulations regarding parking in residential areas to avoid potential fines and complaints.
In the UK, parking HGVs in residential areas is subject to local council regulations. Some councils may prohibit parking HGVs overnight or during certain hours, while others may allow it under certain conditions. HGV drivers should check the local council regulations before parking in a residential area.
Here are some guidelines to follow when parking HGVs in residential areas:
Check local regulations: Before parking in a residential area, check the local council regulations to ensure that you are complying with the rules.
Choose a suitable location: Choose a location that is away from residential properties and does not cause an obstruction to other road users.
Be considerate: Be considerate of local residents by avoiding parking in residential areas where possible. If you have to park in a residential area, do not cause excessive noise or disturb residents.
Use a dedicated parking area: Some areas have dedicated parking areas for HGVs. If available, use these areas to avoid parking in residential areas.
Be aware of parking restrictions: Watch out for parking restrictions such as yellow lines, no-parking zones, and parking permit zones. These restrictions may apply to HGVs as well as other vehicles.
In conclusion, UK lorry drivers are subject to strict regulations and rules when it comes to driving hours to prevent fatigue-related accidents. It is essential for them to adhere to these regulations to ensure their safety and that of other road users. Regular breaks and rest periods are critical to preventing fatigue, and drivers must keep a record of their driving hours and breaks. It is crucial that lorry drivers and their employers understand and comply with these regulations to maintain road safety.