Pragmatic enforcement of Drivers Hours Rules during animal fodder crisis extended to 30 April



The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Road Safety Authority has agreed to a request from the Department of Agriculture, Food the Marine to continue implementing a pragmatic enforcement approach when reviewing drivers hours compliance applying to animal fodder transport until 30th April 2018. This approach will also be applied to drivers involved in the haulage of animal feed. For the purposes of transport of fodder and animal feed, the daily driving time limit must not exceed 11 hours (the current rule specifies 9 hours daily driving which may be extended to 10 hours but no more than twice a week).

During compliance inspections, the history of the driver’s and operator’s overall compliance with the rules will be carefully assessed to ensure that any deviation from the driving and resting time rules relates only to the carriage of animal fodder and animal feed.

Any deviation from the driving and resting time rules must be a last resort. HGV operators must put in place contingency measures to cater for emergency and urgent situations and this must be properly documented and retained for inspection. This should be agreed by operators and their drivers. From 1 May 2018, all drivers including those involved with transporting animal fodder and animal feed will be required to demonstrate full compliance with the driving and resting time rules.

The requirement to take breaks after 4½ hours driving and daily and weekly rest remains and will continue to be rigorously enforced.

Appropriate arrangements must be in place to record any extra driving time being undertaken by drivers in respect of the carriage of animal fodder and animal feed.  Drivers must record on the back of their analogue tachograph charts or digital tachograph print-outs the reasons why they are exceeding the prescribed limits as well as demonstrate that the carriage involved related to animal fodder or feed.

Driver safety or other road user’s safety must not be compromised. Drivers should not be expected to drive whilst tired - employers remain responsible for the health and safety of their employees and other road users.