DRIVERS: DfT issues guidance on recording of activity away from the vehicle

Logistics UK has been pressing the Department for Transport (DfT) to issue guidance for members on changes to the rules regarding the recording of activity away from the vehicle that came into force in August 2020. We advised the DfT that the new rules had rapidly become a serious barrier to operational efficiency due to the increased time and effort needed to accurately record all activity, not least for occasional drivers who might not have driven an in-scope vehicle for some time prior.

Retained EU drivers’ hours rules and retained tachograph rules were amended during the transition period of the UK’s exit from the European Union, to include the following requirements:

  • Retained Drivers Hours rules requires manual records of all work (including out of scope driving and any other work) and periods of availability, using either the manual inputs on a digital/smart tachograph or by making a manual record on a record sheet (from analogue tachographs) or on printout paper (from digital tachographs).
  • Retained Digital Tachograph rules require periods of annual leave and sick leave, as well as breaks and rest to be recorded on the tachograph.

In conjunction with other parts of the regulations in place before August 2020, the changes mean that all drivers (including occasional drivers) must keep a full set of records of their activities for the current day and the previous 28 days. The records must cover their driving, other work, periods of availability, breaks, rest, annual leave, and sick leave.

Following our pressure, we have obtained the following guidance from DfT for members on how DVSA will enforce the requirements at the roadside. This guidance is valid for domestic UK journeys only:

  • Whilst records are required to cover days when no driving of vehicle in scope of retained EU drivers’ hours rules is done, it is not necessary that an individual record is made for each day. The DVSA is accepting, until further notice, recording of activities in blocks to cover any fixed week during which no in-scope driving takes place.
  • For fixed weeks (0000 hrs Monday to 2400 hrs Sunday) when no in-scope driving takes place, the DVSA will accept one or more records for the whole week, as opposed to requiring seven daily records. Records must identify all the weekly rest periods within that fixed week.
  • When in scope driving is undertaken, a full record must be kept for that whole week with separate records for each 24-hour period.

Drivers can continue to make manual entries for each day should they wish.

The retained EU drivers’ hours rules requires drivers to manually record data using either

(a) Manual inputs on a digital/smart tachograph; or

(b) Making a manual record on a record sheet or printout paper.

When using option (b), drivers must ensure that there is sufficient detail to identify the individual driver. On an analogue record sheet, it must be the driver’s name, and on digital printout paper, it must be the driver’s name, or driver card or driving licence number.

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