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As we all know, the United Kingdom and indeed the whole world is experiencing the biggest health crisis for a generation and it’s something that is impacting every area of society. In response to this crisis and in a move to keep the country’s deliveries moving, the UK Government has temporarily relaxed the rules regarding the enforcement of drivers’ rules in England, Scotland and Wales.


Which Type of Vehicles Does the Change Apply To?

In relation to Article 14(2) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006, drivers of vehicles delivering food, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, personal care and household cleaning products are able to drive for up to 11 hours per day, replacing the previous limit of 9 hours.

This, however, is not a carte blanche rule change that applies to all driving activities, as it only applies to the following journeys:

This exemption from the standard driving hour rules does not, however, apply to drivers who are making direct consumer deliveries.


When Do the Rule Changes Apply?

The temporary relaxation in HGV driving hour rules came into force at a minute past midnight on 18th March 2020 and will run – at present – a minute before midnight on Thursday 16th April 2020. What’s important to understand is that if circumstances change, the department of transport may withdraw the relaxation or extend the deadline accordingly.

Another important nuance to this rule change is that at no point should driver safety be compromised and employers should not be forcing their drivers to tired. That said, in addition to the EU daily driving limit being extended from 9 to 11 hours, there are also changes to the weekly and fortnightly driving hours rules:

Any drivers making use of these extended driving hours need to note exactly why they are doing so on the rear side of their printouts or tachograph charts. This is a measure that HGV drivers usually implement in emergencies and is necessary for reasons of enforcement.


HGV Drivers – Keeping Us All Fed and Safe

While HGV drivers are always an important cog in the supply chain machine that keeps us all fed, clothed and safe, their role is even more vital during the current Coronavirus epidemic. We’re here to say that we’re fully behind the work they’re doing and that we’re all here to support them.

Those drivers out there putting all the extra hours in, stand to benefit – and rightly so – as they are putting their safety on the line keep up with the rising demand and to keep our supermarkets and pharmacies stocked.

All that remains to be said is for everyone to stay safe and keep our spirits up during this difficult time. Thanks for reading and until next time.


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