Are driver rules driving you round the bend?

Morgan Cooke

January 10 2020

Drivers’ rules are in place to ensure our roads are safe for people to use. Ultimately, the aim is to reduce the number of accidents which occur due to fatigue and lack of alertness.

So, if you employ drivers, you need to follow existing driver rules. Health & safety laws make it your responsibility.

What driver rules exist?

The truth is there are several driver rules. With so many to remember, employers often lose track.

The drivers’ rules that apply to your employees will depend on the type of vehicle and which country they’re driving in.

These different rules include:

  • EU rules
  • European Agreement Concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles Engaged in international Road Transport (AETR) rules
  • NI domestic rules

In general, there are main rules that all employers should be aware of when they employ drivers.

These include:

The maximum hours that a driver can work, which are:

  • Nine hours daily (can be increased to 10 hours twice a week)
  • 56 hours weekly
  • 90 hours bi-weekly (a week is fixed 00:00 Monday – 24:00 Sunday)

The breaks drivers must have, which are:

  • 45 minutes after 4.5 hours of driving
  • This 45 minute break can be split into two periods of one 15 minute and one 30 minute break
  • A driver must also have 11 hours daily rest which can be reduced to 9 hours no more than three times a week

The use of tachographs. These record information about driving time, speed and distance. The vehicles that must use them are:

  • Goods vehicles with a maximum permissible weight over 3.5 tonnes
  • Passenger vehicles with more than nine seats (including the driver's)

Digital tachographs will allow for easier and better control of drivers' hours by operators and the enforcement authorities.


If you employ drivers it’s crucial that you comply with driver rules. Doing so protects both your employees and your business.

Need our help?

If you would like further complimentary advice on driver rules from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call any time day or night. Call us on 0800 917 0771 or request a callback here.

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