Driving for a Haulage Company, make sure you are driving within the Law.
July 22, 2019
The RSA is responsible for enforcing EU and national transport legislation on tachographs, EU driver hour rules, Road transport working time directive, those elements of the licensing of operators to engage in hire and reward operations and Drivers CPC.
We at, John M Shanahan & Co, Chartered Accountants, Tullamore, Co Offaly have taken a look at the requirements which are necessary to stay within the Law in relation to such regulation.
Since 2009 the RSA have initiated prosecutions against drivers and operators in respect of breaches of this legislation.
Tachographs are instruments that measure the amount of time a driver is on the road.
There are two kinds: digital and analogue.
Both are fitted in the cab of trucks and buses and are used to monitor compliance with driver hours’ legislation.
Digital tachographs became mandatory in new commercial lorries and buses in May 2006.
The provision of driver cards for use by drivers, companies, calibration workshops and enforcement officers is central to digital tachographs.
Data is stored in the vehicle unit memory and on driver smart cards. The data contains a range of information including distance covered, vehicle speed (for previous 24 hours of driving), vehicle licence number, and driver activity (driving, rest, breaks, other work, periods of availability).
A driver’s card can store information for a minimum of 28 days before it begins to be overwritten.
The vehicle operator has two key responsibilities in relation to both kinds of tachograph:
- To download the data from the driver’s cards (at least every 21 days) and vehicle units (at least every 90 days) and save this information as well as any analogue charts or printouts made for one year. This information must be made available in its “raw” format to an enforcement officer on request;
- To monitor drivers’ records and print-outs. If there are breaches of drivers’ rules, the operator must address them and take steps to ensure they do not happen again.
Driver fatigue is a known risk factor in road collisions. Fatigue can cause loss of concentration or, worse, lead to a driver falling asleep at the wheel. Fatigue is a significant factor in heavy commercial vehicle crashes.
EU law regulates the driving time of professional drivers using goods vehicles over 3.5t (including trailers) and passenger vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats.
The key requirements are that you must not drive:
- Without a break for more than 4.5 hours. After driving for 4.5 hours, a break of at least 45 minutes is mandatory. You can distribute that break over the 4.5 hours by taking a 15 minute break followed by a 30 minute break;
- For more than nine hours per day or 56 hours per week. This may be extended to 10 hours no more than twice during a week;
- More than 90 hours in two consecutive weeks.
There are also strict regulations regarding the average working time and the amount of rest that must be taken daily and weekly.
We at JOHN M. SHANAHAN & CO. are here to help you with all your business, financial, accounting, statutory and taxation requirements, by providing expert, specialist and professional service tailored to meet your needs.