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Working Time Directive & PSV Drivers Hours

As a PSV coach and bus operator, you must follow the Working Time Directive & PSV drivers hours rules governing how many hours drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles can drive and the breaks that they need to take. There are different kinds of rules that may apply to each journey depending on the type of vehicle they are driving and in which country you are operating within. There are both GB domestic rules and EU rules that may apply.

Working time rules for employers

As an employer of PSV drivers, the PSV coach and bus operator must monitor drivers' and anyone else who is part of the travelling staff's working time and make sure they don’t go over the working time limits. PSV coach and bus operators are required to record working time and keep those records for at least 2 years.

PSV Drivers hours: Great Britain domestic rules

For driver's operating within Great Britain, the GB domestic rules, as contained in the Transport Act 1968 apply, though note that separate rules apply to Northern Ireland. If a driver is an employee, the rules apply to all of their working time, whereas if a driver is self employed the rules only apply to the time spent actually driving the vehicle or doing other work related to the vehicle or its load.

After 5 hours 30 minutes of driving, the rules state that drivers must take a break of at least 30 minutes or within any period of 8 hours 30 minutes, they must take at least 45 minutes in breaks. Drivers must also take a break of at least 30 minutes at the end of this period, unless it’s the end of the working day.

PSV Drivers hours: EU rules

For drivers operating within the European Union, the EU rules (Regulation (EC) 561/2006) apply to drivers of most passenger vehicles. This applies whether or not passengers are being carried or the vehicle is unladen. The EU rules also place a responsibility not just on drivers, but on other parties including tour organisers, contractors, sub-contractors and driver agencies.

PSV Drivers hours: Mixed EU and GB rules

Many drivers will drive in both Great Britain and the European Union, and may well do so on the same day. If this is the case then the GB domestic driving limit must always be obeyed. If a driver drives in the EU at any time, they must obey all the rules on EU driving limits. The EU rules always take precedence over the GB domestic rules.

Tachograph rules

Although not required for GB domestic rules, an approved tachograph is required to record the activities of drivers subject to the EU drivers’ hours rules. Whether using a digital or analogue tachograph, the passenger vehicle’s speed, distance and the time, all need to be recorded.

PSV driver's hours: Enforcement and penalties

Legislation has given powers to DVSA authorised examiners to enforce any breaches of drivers' hours for passenger carrying vehicles. These include the ability to inspect a vehicle, the power to prohibit and direct vehicles, to undertake investigations into possible breaches of regulations, to instigate proceedings at a magistrates’ court and the ability to issue improvement notices and prohibition notices in relation to working time rules.

Any infringements of the drivers hours rules can result in the DVSA issuing verbal warnings, offence rectification notices, prohibitions, fixed penalty notices, and ultimately undertaking prosecutions or even referring the passenger transport operator to the Traffic Commissioner.

Our transport lawyers can help you to understand the rules and regulations governing the working time directive and how it can affect your passenger transport operation. We can also help ensure you have the systems and records in place to monitor PSV drivers hours. And in case of any tachograph rules infringement, our transport lawyers can represent you.

For expert legal advice on the Working Time Directive & PSV Drivers Hours contact us today on 01279 818280 or fill in the contact form above to send us an email.

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Richard Pelly

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