In the realm of Legislation, as it applies to Commercial Vehicle Drivers, this can be a two-edged sword as the Internet remains an open but frequently, inaccurate source.

Here are just a few examples of what we mean:

Example 1

The above graphic was widely published on the internet to show how to legally interrupt a Daily Rest period in reference to a Ferry Crossing. If the above pattern was, in reality, to be implemented, the driver would likely be summonsed for “Failing to Take a Legal Daily Rest period” as only 10 hours and 10 minutes Rest has been accumulated.

11 hours rest is required to be accumulated in total to make the interruptions lawful. Who was the author of this? It was one of the Enforcement Agencies. It has now been amended but only after several years of availability and its use is still seen on transport office walls around the UK

Example 2

Another example on a well-known UK based site, the following information is provided: “Compensatory [Weekly Rest] hours should be added to a rest period of at least 8 hours”. Clearly, this should now read “at least 9 hours and also could be added to a Regular or Reduced Weekly Rest period”.

Example 3

Misinformation, in relation to the Working Time / Road Transport Directive, is probably even more widespread on the Internet. For example, freely available on a UK based website is the following information: “If you continue to work up until you accumulate 9 hours of WTD then you must take a further 15-minute break. You can take this additional break at any time throughout the day once your duty has begun, and it may also be included on the end of another break, but it must be no later than after 9 hours of total WTD.” This implies that the 45 minutes of “Qualifying” breaks required for a period of aggregated Working Time over 9 hours, must be taken before the 9 hours of working time has been accrued!

Example 4

On another website, the following examples are given – Not being sarcastic, but there are only two errors in this – can you spot them?

Please NOTE this is not our (Foster Tachographs Limited) interpretation, but that of erroneous providers on the internet

This example shows how the RTWTR will ensure that drivers take breaks even if their driving time doesn’t reach 4.5 hours. After 6 hours’ work (4 hours’ other work and 2 hours’ driving) the driver is committed to taking a 30-minute break, under the RTWTR rules. After a further 3 hours’ work (all of it non-driving), a further break of 15 minutes is required, again under the RTWTR rules. This makes a total of 45 minutes’ breaks for the 9-hour working period.

Other work Driving Break Other work Break Other work
4 hours 2 hours 30 minutes 3 hours 15 minutes 1 hour
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The Internet has changed everyone’s lives and at the same time has made a vast reservoir of information available, at the click of a keyboard. Foster Tachographs and Transport Compliance helps to understand the misinformation given by erroneous providers on the internet.

Did you spot them?

Misinformation – they claim that the break after 6 hours must be 30 minutes – no you don’t the required break is 15 minutes after 6 hours – the 30 minutes break relates to the total (not individual) break required if the working time is between 6-9 hours.

Misinformation – they claim, as shown in example 3 above that after 9 hours working you then need to have had the total of 45 minutes break.

Sadly, we know that these erroneous interpretations of Working Time Directive breaks are still being provided in approved driver CPC training courses.

However, misinformation is not restricted to the Internet.  One well known National Company, operating under EC 561/2006 – the Goods Vehicle element – paid for an expensive Driver CPC Training Course only to be delivered the PCV variety, but not the EC561/2006 version that was advertised, they were given PCV Domestic Regulations!

And just last week we undertook an audit of an Operator’s systems and found that the software they are using is providing incorrect information in that the severity of offences is being under-reported and, in some cases, ‘offences’ which aren’t offences are being reported.

The best advice – get proper training, know the law inside out, if in doubt ask your Transport Manager (he is ultimately responsible), stick to the current VOSA guidelines or give Foster Tachographs Limited a call and we’ll be pleased to help.

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