Coronavirus (COVID-19) – 2 important Govt driving updates for Haulage Drivers and Operators

This Isis Insurance article covers 2 important recent updates, relevant to HGV Drivers & Operators.

These are:

1) Temporary relaxation of HGV driving rules

2) All lorry, bus or trailer annual tests (MOT) have been suspended from 21 March 2020 for 3 months because of the outbreak.

Temporary relaxation of HGV driving rules

The Government has placed a temporary relaxation for people driving under the EU or GB drivers’ rules – when undertaking carriage of goods by road – and can use the relevant relaxation where necessary, in the light of the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency measures.

In simple terms, the rules have been relaxed for emergency travel allowing you to drive longer than normal, if you take regular breaks.

In normal circumstances and as a top-level summary, it is a 9 hours daily driving limit (increased to 10 hours twice a week), with a maximum of 56 hours weekly or 90 hours fortnightly. Every 4.5 hours maximum driving must be followed by a rest period and/or break.

However, initially in place from 00:01 Monday 23rd March to 23:59pm Tuesday 23rd April, there is a temporary relaxation of these rules for emergencies, which is defined your journey being necessary to enable someone to:

1) provide goods or services to protect public health, and/or

2) meet their or others’ basic needs for day to day living, and/or

3) provide medical treatment

and there is a risk of danger to the life or health of people if your journey is not carried out; then you should make use of the emergency exemption.

The department would not normally expect drivers in emergencies to:

· drive for more than 11 hours in one day

· have less than 9 hours of daily rest

· work for more than 7 days before the start of the regular or reduced weekly rest (if operating under the EU rules), or

· have less than 24 hours weekly rest

In addition, drivers operating under the EU drivers’ hours rules should ensure they take a 45 minute break after 5.5 hours driving.

The drivers in question must note on the back of their tachograph charts or printouts the reasons why they are exceeding the normally permitted limits. This is usual practice in emergencies and is, of course, essential for enforcement purposes. Please read the full Government guidance here.

Suspension of HGV MOT’s for 3 months from 21st March 2020

To help contain the Coronavirus outbreak but keep vital haulage on the road, your vehicle is exempt from requiring an MOT for 3 months from 21st March 2020.

In most cases, your lorry will have been automatically issued on exception certificate by letter or email (using the national database) and you do not need to do anything. If you are unsure, you can check the MOT history of your vehicle here. You might need to apply for this, depending on your vehicle. For further guidance, please visit the Govt website here

Please stay well and stay safe, from the whole team at Isis Insurance.