Do you know your responsibilities around drivers hours’ rules?

Do you know your responsibilities around drivers hours’ rules?

Are you confident you’re being compliant with the rules around digital tachographs and downloading digital vehicle unit and driver card data?

All too often, traffic commissioners see operators at public inquiry and drivers at conduct hearings because of bad practice around digital tachographs.

Many operators have a digital tachograph fitted to their vehicles, yet they’re at a loss when it comes to analysing the data.

Operator responsibilities

As an operator you must ensure that:

  • your drivers continue to meet their requirements around drivers’ hours

  • you have a company card to lock in the data to your organisation, and subsequently download vehicle units

  • the data is downloaded from drivers cards at least every 28 days (best practice weekly)

  • data from the vehicle unit is downloaded at least every 90 days (best practice monthly)

  • you analyse data from the recording equipment and drivers cards to check for breaches regarding missing mileage (driving vehicles without a card inserted)

  • the recording equipment is functioning correctly and is used properly, and any defective systems are repaired without delay

  • the recording equipment is calibrated every two years

  • drivers only have one card in use

  • the serial number of the driver card being used matches the most recent driver card issued, by making checks online with DVLA

Driver responsibilities

Drivers must:

  • use a driver card to digitally record all your work and driving under EC rules, this includes recording your driver walk round check as other work, at the beginning of a shift

  • make sure the recording equipment and driver card are functioning correctly and use them properly

  • only hold one card – the only exception to this is during the month before your card is about to expire, when you may also hold a replacement card

  • allow your employer to download data from your card, ideally on a weekly basis

  • apply for a replacement to lost, stolen, damaged or malfunctioning cards within 7 days, and take printouts at the start and end of each driving day before your replacement card arrives

  • not use a card which does not bare your own details

  • not use or be in possession of a forged or altered card

  • not record any false data on your card or any recording equipment

  • not make a false, forged or altered statement to obtain a card

  • not suppress or destroy any data recorded on your card or any recording equipment

  • carry your card when working and produce it for DVSA officers or the police when asked to do so, even if it has not been used

It’s essential that operators are aware of every driver’s activity, and meet the legal deadlines on checking records regularly. Failure to do this can impact on your operator’s licence, a driver’s vocational licence and your transport manager’s repute.

Traffic commissioners continue to take regulatory action against those in breach of the drivers’ hours and tachograph rules, using their full range of powers to revoke, suspend and curtail O licences, and revoke and suspend drivers’ vocational entitlements. If DVSA prosecute, the most serious cases can lead to imprisonment.

Whether you’re an operator, driver, or transport manager, to operate within the law, you must know your responsibilities.

For information on how to use tachographs, visit:

Courtesy of the DVSA.


Lloyd Morgan Group are exhibition at the CV show 2018 Stand 4D65. Why not pop over to see us and discuss any concerns you may have.