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    HGV night driving rules

    The EU applied rules to help monitor and limit Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) driver usage and to make it safe for the drivers and other road users. Within such rules are the HGV night driving rules. Regardless of the UK leaving the EU, these rules will continue to remain in place unless otherwise stated.

    There are restrictions on what hours you can work during the night and day. These limitations are in place to prevent driver fatigue and to keep road users safe. There can sometimes be confusion over driver rules, and the rules are slightly different when driving during the night-time period.

    This article will help clarify what you can and can't do when working and driving a HGV during the night-time period.

    Our infographic on HGV driver rules explains all HGV driver rules that apply.

    In this article we will cover:

    1. What are the HGV night driving rules?
    2. Why are the rules in place?
    3. What are the penalties?
    4. What are the benefits for HGV's to drive at night?
    5. What else can you do to keep drivers safe?

    What are the HGV night driving rules?

    The night-time period is between midnight and 4 am for heavy goods vehicles. If any work is carried out during the night-time period, then certain rules apply to limit the number of hours worked.

    If a driver works during the night, there is a 10-hour working limit within 24 hours. However, if there is a collective agreement between the employer and an independent trade union or workforce agreement in place, these hours can be extended.

    Drivers must always comply with the HGV driver regulations; a driver cannot work for more than 15 hours in one day on up to three occasions between weekly rest periods.

    Why are the HGV night driving rules in place?

    Driver rules are in place to protect driver's road safety and to ensure good working conditions. This is to help reduce the risk of drivers causing and being involved in fatigue-related accidents.

    Having such rules in place also helps to stop over-working drivers and to reduce stress levels. Health and safety should always remain a top priority and these rules help to ensure that.

    What are the penalties of HGV night driving rules?

    The HGV night driving rules must be taken seriously and if drivers don't comply with the rules, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can fine drivers up to £300 for breaking rules around driving hours and regulations.

    Drivers can be fined up to five times for driving offences in one go. In total, drivers can face a fine of £1,500 for consistently breaking the driver hours rules.

    It's worth noting that these penalties are in place for any breaches in driving hours and not just night-time driving.

    The benefits of HGV night-time driving

    There are a few benefits of night-time driving, some benefiting the company and others benefiting the driver. For example, roads are much quieter during the night than they are during the daytime.

    This means that there's less traffic on the roads and can help drivers reach their destination in the expected time frame. It also means that less money is spent on fuel as consistent driving helps with fuel consumption. Not only this, but it can also be cheaper to pass through toll roads at night, with some even suspending charges.

    The main downside is often road works take place during the night meaning there is a chance of possible diversions. If the driver is fatigued, driving at night-time may increase the chances of falling asleep at the wheel as fewer cars are around, it may mean less concentration, which is why HGV night driving rules are in place to protect drivers.

    What else can you do to keep HGV drivers safe?

    Working different shift patterns that include both night-time and day-time driving can impact most people, especially if driving an HGV for a living. There are various challenges when driving during the night-time, such as fatigue and the quieter roads can affect concentration levels.

    As an employer, you must ensure that drivers are kept safe at all time and always put health and safety measures in place for night-time driving.

    • Make sure that drivers are sticking to the driving rules and are taking regular breaks.
    • Encourage drivers to take a break when feeling tired and/or stressed.
    • Provide drivers with training and refresher courses so that know the safest way to drive.
    • Use telematics systems to monitor driver behaviour and re-educate those who need it.

    We will continue to monitor the rules, especially as we come up to exiting the EU to provide up-to-date information around HGV night driving rules.

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