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How Long May I Drive? Rules Regarding Driver Hours

Updated at 16 May, 2023

— Explore the regulations on driver hours to ensure safety and compliance. Learn about legal driving limits and rest requirements for drivers.

How Long May I Drive? Rules Regarding Driver Hours

Rules regarding driver hours: How long may I drive?

In the context of professional driving in the EU, following the EU Drivers' Hours Rules (RTWTR) is essential for maintaining road safety as well as being legally required. These regulations, designed to ensure the well-being of drivers and the safety of all road users, provide a framework for managing driving times, breaks, and rest periods.

This guide delves into these rules, offering a clear understanding of the normal daily driving limit in hours, the maximum driving hours per week, and the essential drivers' hours breaks. Whether you're navigating the busy highways of Europe in a goods vehicle or transporting passengers, this information is crucial for maintaining compliance and ensuring safety on the roads.

*Passenger Vehicles: Vehicles constructed or adapted to carry nine or more passengers, including the driver. 

What is the Normal Daily Driving Limit in Hours?

Under EU rules, the normal maximum daily driving time limit is 9 hours, which can be extended to 10 hours no more than twice a week. This regulation ensures that how many hours you can drive in a day aligns with safe driving practices.

Maximum Driving Hours Per Week

The maximum weekly driving limit is set at 56 hours. It's important for drivers to understand how many hours can be driven in a week to comply with these regulations and maintain road safety.

How Many Hours Can Be Driven in a Fortnight?

Over any two consecutive weeks, or a fortnight, maximum driving time in 2 weeks should not exceed 90 hours. This regulation is designed to prevent fatigue over extended periods.

Drivers' Hours Breaks

Driving over 4.5 hours necessitates a break. Drivers must take a total of at least 45 minutes of breaks after driving for 4.5 hours. These drivers' hours breaks can be split into two periods - one at least 15 minutes long and the other at least 30 minutes.

Daily and Weekly Rest Requirements

The normal daily rest period in hours under EU rules is 11 consecutive hours, which can be reduced to 9 hours but no more than three times between two weekly rest periods. The regular weekly rest period must be at least 45 consecutive hours, or a reduced weekly rest of at least 24 hours.

Special Considerations for Multi-Manning and Ferry/Train Transport

In multi-manning operations, each driver must have a daily rest period of at least 9 consecutive hours within 30 hours of the end of their last daily or weekly rest period. For ferry/train transport, daily rest can be interrupted no more than twice by other activities not exceeding one hour in total.

Key Takeaways

Understanding these EU driving regulations, including maximum daily driving hours, weekly rest period, and drivers rest period, is vital. By following these drivers' hours rules and ensuring adequate driver rest periods, you contribute to road safety and your well-being.

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