NewsWake up to the rules on drivers hours

July 4, 2018by Jamie Campbell

According to road safety charity Think!, 40 per cent of sleep-related road traffic accidents involve commercial drivers.

Despite the dangers and potentially devastating consequences, many businesses who run commercial vehicles are still not complying with the rules around drivers hours.

Failure to comply could mean the end of your business – and someone’s life

If you hold an operator’s licence to run company goods vehicles, breaking or failing to use tachographs to record drivers hours could result in heavy fines, damage to your reputation and ultimately, a tragic loss of life. 

On-the-spot fines up to £1,500

Since March, the DVSA has introduced on-the-spot penalties of up to £300 for each occasion a lorry, bus or coach driver has exceeded their legal hours over the previous 28 days.

Drivers can face an immediate £1,500 total fine and court action for any further violations. 

The move is part of the Government’s bid to reduce the number of motor accidents involving freight and commercial vehicles with tired drivers at the wheel.

Are you complying with drivers hours rules? 

If you hold an operator’s licence, are you compliant with the rules around tachographs?

Many operators have tachographs fitted to their vehicles, but don’t fully understand how to download or analyse the data.

Your responsibilities as a commercial transport operator 

  • Ensure your drivers completely understand and always fulfil their responsibilities around drivers hours
  • You must have a company card to transfer the data to your organisation, and keep downloaded data from the vehicle unit securely
  • Make sure data is downloaded from drivers cards at least every 28 days (weekly is best practice)
  • Download data from the vehicle unit at least every 90 days (monthly is best practice)
  • Analyse data from the recording equipment and drivers cards to check for breaches, including missing mileage where drivers may be driving without a drivers card inserted
  • Regularly check the recording equipment is functioning correctly and is used properly, and that any defective systems are repaired without delay
  • Make sure the recording equipment is calibrated every two years
  • Ensure drivers are only using one card at any time
  • Check online at the DVLA that the serial number of the driver tacho matches the most recent driver card issue.

Your drivers’ responsibilities

  • It is each driver’s responsibility to ensure they understand the rules around drivers hours and are proficient at using tachographs and vehicle data recording units
  • Every driver in your team must digitally record all their activity on a driver card, including their driver “walk round check” at the beginning of every shift
  • They must make sure the recording equipment and driver card are functioning properly and use them correctly
  • Each driver should only hold one card – other than during the month before their card is about to expire, when they can also hold a replacement card
  • Make it easy for you to download data from their card on a weekly basis
  • Report lost, stolen, damaged or malfunctioning cards to you and apply for a new card within 7 days. They should also take printouts at the start and end of each driving day until the replacement card arrives
  • Drivers must never record any false data on their card or recording equipment or make a false, forged or altered statement to obtain a card
  • Make sure they always carry their card when working for you and produce it for DVSA officers or the police when asked.

Seek expert advice from a professional

If you’re anything less than 100% confident that you and your drivers are complying with the law, it’s time to wake up and get help.

JCS Transport Consultancy

We’re experienced and highly-qualified fleet transport consultants who specialise in helping commercial vehicle owners to comply with all road safety legislation and licensing requirements.

Our JCS Smartanalysis tachograph management service provides all the support, technology and guidance you and your drivers need, at a price you can afford.

With JCS Smartanalysis, you send us your tachograph charts and digital data and you can then access the analysed data and extract simple reports via the analysis website 24/7, providing you have an internet connection.

Straight-forward approach to compliance

With our service, you receive comprehensive information about your drivers’ hours, working time regulations and much more.

Straight-forward reports make it easy for you to interpret your data and take any necessary action to maintain compliance.

You can also sign up for specific reports and have them emailed directly to you, giving you all the information you need, whenever and wherever you need it.

Contact JCS Transport Consultancy today

Call us on 0333 987 4657 for an informal chat about how we can keep you, your drivers and your vehicles safe on the road.

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As well as making sure your business achieves and maintains its FORS accreditation at Bronze Level, we can also help you achieve the prestigious Silver and Gold FORS status.

These awards recognise the very best standards and practice in road transport management and put you one step ahead of the competition.

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About Us

JCS Transport Consultancy was setup by Managing Director Jamie Campbell, a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT), has over 24 years’ experience in road transport operations and is an Approved FORS Pre-Audit provider.

About Us

JCS Transport Consultancy was setup by Managing Director Jamie Campbell, a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT), has over 24 years’ experience in road transport operations and is an Approved FORS Pre-Audit provider.

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