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HGV Night Driver Rules: Staying Safe on the Roads

Mar 30, 2020

We’ve written before about rules and regulation which relate to HGV drivers. Here we look particularly at HGV night driver rules.

What are the HGV night driver rules?

Night-time work is defined as any work (including driving) which takes place between midnight and 4am for goods vehicles.

If any work is carried out during the defined night- time period, then certain rules apply with regard to the number of hours which can be worked.

If any work takes place during the night- time period, the driver must not work more than 10 hours within a 24-hour period.

If there is a collective agreement or a ‘workforce agreement’ in place, these hours can be extended.

However, drivers must still comply with the overall HGV driver regulations with regards to the maximum hours which can be worked in a day, week or two-week period. Read our blog for more information on HGV driver hours.

Given the complexity of the rules do refer to the gov.uk website for full details on HGV driver hour regulations.

What are the fines and penalties for not following HGV night driver rules?

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can fine drivers up to £300 if they are found to be breaking rules around driving hours and regulations.

The DVSA can issue fines for up to 5 driving offences in one go, meaning you could face a fine of as much as £1,500 in one go for consistently breaking the rules.

These fines apply to HGV driver hours in general. Not just in relation to night-time driver hours.

Why do many HGV drivers drive at night?

There may be many reasons why HGV drivers work at night, whether through choice or through decision made by the business that they work for. Some common reasons may include: 

  • Roads are quieter overnight than during the day, particularly during rush hour peaks
  • Due to less traffic more miles can be covered/targets achieved
  • It is cheaper to pass through toll roads at night than during the day. Some tolls are even suspended over-night.

How can you protect your fleet or drivers?

It is well regarded that night-time working can have an effect on all workers, not just those who drive for a living. But driving for work at night does pose its only challenges. Especially those in charge of HGV’s. So, if you are a fleet manager who requires their drivers to drive at night you must ensure that you uphold your duty of care to your employees and put measures in place to ease the pressures of night-time driving.

  • Enforce the regulations and ensure that drivers do not work more than they are allowed to do
  • Create a culture that encourages drivers to take a break if they do feel fatigued
  • Constantly reiterate the dangers of driving behaviours such as mobile phone use, influence of alcohol and ignoring the rules of the road
  • Make use of a telematics system to keep an eye on driver behaviour and enable you to target any training which may be required
  • As with all operators of HGV’s, you must assess the individual’s medical fitness on a regular basis. This could be even more important for those who work at night
  • Encourage and educate your drivers on healthy behaviours such as healthy eating, exercise and the importance of getting enough sleep

Anthony Jones work with many fleet operators with regards to their insurance requirements. We can also help you identify risks within your business which you may need to focus on and put strategies in place to deal with. We also work closely with our legal partner, DAC Beachcroft who are available if one of your drivers is involved in a serious road traffic accident. Chat to us today about your motor and fleet insurance needs.

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