DfT relaxes drivers’ hours rules

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The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that the EU drivers’ hours and working-time rules will be temporarily relaxed for drivers directly affected by the Buncefield fire.

The DfT has agreed to a temporary relaxation, for drivers who adhere to particular criteria. The temporary relaxation, will run from 11th December 2005 until 13th January 2006 and will only apply to those tanker drivers directly affected by the fire. A list will be created of drivers’ names and will be provided to enforcers by the oil companies. Other drivers working for local businesses who are directly affected by the fire, will also be exempt. The last on the list are those whose work is necessary to meet the exceptional circumstances occasioned by the Buncefield fire.

For the drivers in question, the EU drivers hours rules will be temporarily relaxed by increasing the EU daily driving limit of nine hours to 10, lifting the fortnightly driving limit of 90 hours and replacing the 45 hour minimum weekly rest requirement, with one of 24 hours. The DfT did emphasise however, that the requirement to take an 11 hour daily rest and to take a 45 minute break after 4.5 hours driving, would remain.


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