Drivers’ hours changes to fines for commercial drivers

Rules will be changed so lorry, bus and coach drivers who drive tired will be fined for every time they’ve done it in the last 28 days.

If you drive a lorry, bus or coach, you must follow rules on how many hours you can drive and the breaks you need to take.

When the rules will change

The exact date the rules will change be confirmed nearer the time.

The change will be well-publicised so drivers and vehicle operators are fully aware of the penalties.

Guidance about drivers hours rules will also be updated.

Fines to deter drivers from not resting properly

As well as giving fines to drivers for recent offences, DVSA traffic examiners will start issuing fines to deal with drivers who don’t properly rest.

Lorry, bus and coach drivers must take a 45-hour rest break at least every fortnight.

From 1 November 2017, DVSA will start to fine drivers up to £300 if they spend their full weekly rest break in their vehicle in places where it causes a problem. For example, if a lorry driver spends their full break in the cab of their lorry in a layby.

Illegal parking, noise and litter nuisance

Spending the weekly rest break in the cab can:

  • contribute to drivers not properly resting
  • expose drivers to poor living conditions

It can also cause problems in local communities. In some areas, lorry drivers have parked illegally or inappropriately while taking the 45-hour break, and have caused residents to complain about noise, litter and anti-social behaviour.

During 2016, authorities in Kent took action against 3,700 lorry drivers for parking illegally or inappropriately.

Targeting problem areas

DVSA traffic examiners will target places where this is causing the biggest problems, such as residential areas and laybys.

DVSA will also work with its counterparts in other countries to deal with overseas operators whose drivers regularly do this.

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