Transport Act 1968

Part VIDrivers' Hours

95Vehicles and drivers subject to control under Part VI

(1)This Part of this Act shall have effect with a view to securing the observance of proper hours of work by persons engaged in the carriage of passengers or goods by road and thereby protecting the public against the risks which arise in cases where the drivers of motor vehicles are suffering from fatigue.

(2)This Part of this Act applies to—

(a)passenger vehicles, that is to say—

(i)public service vehicles ; and

(ii)motor vehicles (other than public service vehicles) constructed or adapted to carry more than twelve passengers;

(b)goods vehicles, that is to say—

(i)heavy locomotives, light locomotives, motor tractors and any motor vehicle so constructed that a trailer may by partial superimposition be attached to the vehicle in such a manner as to cause a substantial part of the weight of the trailer to be borne by the vehicle; and

(ii)motor vehicles (except those mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection) constructed or adapted to carry goods other than the effects of passengers.

(3)This Part of this Act applies to any such person as follows (in this Part of this Act referred to as " a driver "), that is to say—

(a)a person who drives a vehicle to which this Part of this Act applies in the course of his employment (in this Part of this Act referred to as " an employee-driver "); and

(b)a person who drives such a vehicle for the purposes of a trade or business carried on by him (in this Part of this Act referred to as " an owner-driver ");

and in this Part of this Act references to driving by any person are references to his driving as aforesaid.

96Permitted driving time and periods of duty

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, a driver shall not on any working day drive a vehicle or vehicles to which this Part of this Act applies for periods amounting in the aggregate to more than ten hours.

(2)Subject to the provisions of this section, if on any working day a driver has been on duty for a period of, or for periods amounting in the aggregate to, five and a half hours and—

(a)there has not been during that period, or during or between any of those periods, an interval of not less than half an hour in which he was able to obtain rest and refreshment; and

(b)the end of that period, or of the last of those periods, does not mark the end of that working day,

there shall at the end of that period, or of the last of those periods, be such an interval as aforesaid.

(3)Subject to the provisions of this section, the working day of a driver—

(a)except where paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection applies, shall not exceed eleven hours;

(b)if during that day he is off duty for a period which is, or periods which taken together are, not less than the time by which his working day exceeds eleven hours, shall not exceed twelve and a half hours;

(c)if during that day—

(i)all the time when he is driving vehicles to which this Part of this Act applies is spent in driving one or more express carriages or contract carriages; and

(ii)he is able for a period of not less than four hours to obtain rest and refreshment, shall not exceed fourteen hours.

(4)Subject to the provisions of this section, there shall be, between any two successive working days of a driver, an interval for rest which—

(a)subject to paragraph (b) of this subsection, shall not be of less than eleven hours;

(b)if during both those days all or the greater part of the time when he is driving vehicles to which this Part of this Act applies is spent in driving one or more passenger vehicles, may, on one occasion in each working week, be of less than eleven hours but not of less than nine and a half hours ;

and for the purposes of this Part of this Act a period of time shall not be treated, in the case of an employee-driver, as not being an interval for rest by reason only that he may be called upon to report for duty if required.

(5)Subject to the provisions of this section a driver shall not be on duty in any working week for periods amounting in the aggregate to more than sixty hours.

(6)Subject to the provisions of this section, there shall be, in the case of each working week of a driver, a period of not less than twenty-four hours for which he is off duty, being a period either falling wholly in that week or beginning in that week and ending in the next week ; but—

(a)where the requirements of the foregoing provisions of this subsection have been satisfied in the case of any week by reference to a period ending in the next week, no part of that period (except any part after the expiration of the first twenty-four hours of it) shall be taken into account for the purpose of satisfying those requirements in the case of the next week ; and

(b)those requirements need not be satisfied in the case of any working week of a driver who on each working day falling wholly or partly in that week drives one or more stage carriages if that week is immediately preceded by a week in the case of which those requirements have been satisfied as respects that driver or during which he has not at any time been on duty.

(7)If in the case of the working week of any driver the following requirement is satisfied, that is to say, that, in each of the periods of twenty-four hours beginning at midnight which make up that week, the driver does not drive a vehicle to which this Part of this Act applies for a period of, or periods amounting in the aggregate to, more than four hours, the foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply to him in that week, except that the provisions of subsections (1), (2) and (3) shall nevertheless have effect in relation to the whole of any working day falling partly in that week and partly in a working week in the case of which that requirement is not satisfied.

(8)If on any working day a driver does not drive any vehicle to which this Part of this Act applies—

(a)subsections (2) and (3) of this section shall not apply to that day, and

(b)the period or periods of duty attributable to that day for the purposes of subsection (5) of this section shall, if amounting to more than eleven hours, be treated as amounting to eleven hours only.

(9)For the purposes of subsections (1) and (7) of this section no account shall be taken of any time spent driving a vehicle elsewhere than on a road if the vehicle is being so driven in the course of operations of agriculture or forestry.

(10)For the purpose of enabling drivers to deal with cases of emergency or otherwise to meet a special need, the Minister may by regulations—

(a)create exemptions from all or any of the requirements of subsections (1) to (6) of this section in such cases and subject to such conditions as may be specified in the regulations;

(b)empower the traffic commissioners or licensing authority for any area, subject to the provisions of the regulations—

(i)to dispense with the observance of all or any of those requirements (either generally or in such circumstances or to such extent as the commissioners or authority think fit) in any particular case for which provision is not made under paragraph (a) of this subsection;

(ii)to grant a certificate (which, for the purposes of any proceedings under this Part of this Act, shall be conclusive evidence of the facts therein stated) that any particular case falls or fell within any exemption created under the said paragraph (a);

and regulations under this subsection may enable any dispensation under paragraph (b)(i) of this subsection to be granted retrospectively and provide for a document purporting to be a certificate granted by virtue of paragraph (b)(ii) of this subsection to be accepted in evidence without further proof.

(11)If any of the requirements of subsections (1) to (6) of this section, or any condition having effect by virtue of regulations made under subsection (10) thereof, is contravened in the case of any driver—

(a)that driver ; and

(b)any other person (being that driver's employer or a person to whose orders that driver was subject) who caused or permitted the contravention,

shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £200; but a person shall not be liable to be convicted under this subsection if he proves to the court—

(i)that the contravention was due to unavoidable delay in the completion of a journey arising out of circumstances which he could not reasonably have foreseen; or

(ii)in the case of a person charged under paragraph (b) of this subsection, that the contravention was due to the fact that the driver had for any particular period or periods driven or been on duty otherwise than in the employment of that person or, as the case may be, otherwise than in the employment in which he is subject to the orders of that person, and that the person charged was not, and could not reasonably have become, aware of that fact.

(12)The Minister may by order—

(a)direct that subsection (1) of this section shall have effect with the substitution for the reference to ten hours of a reference to nine hours, either generally or with such exceptions as may be specified in the order;

(b)direct that paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of this section shall have effect with the substitution for the reference to eleven hours of a reference to any shorter period, or remove, modify or add to the provisions of that subsection containing exceptions to the said paragraph (a);

(c)remove, modify or add to any of the requirements of subsections (2), (4), (5) or (6) of this section or any of the exemptions provided for by subsections (7), (8) and (9) thereof;

and any order under this subsection may contain such transitional and supplementary provisions as the Minister thinks necessary or expedient, including provisions amending any definition in section 103 of this Act which is relevant to any of the provisions affected by the order.

97Installation and operation of recording equipment in vehicles

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, no driver shall drive a vehicle to which this Part of this Act applies unless—

(a)there is installed in the vehicle in the prescribed place and manner equipment for recording information as to the use of the vehicle, being equipment of such type or design as may be prescribed or approved by the Minister for the purposes of this section; and

(b)that equipment is in working order.

(2)Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to—

(a)a small goods vehicle as defined in section 103(6) of this Act; or

(b)a vehicle of any class exempted from that subsection by regulations made by the Minister;

and paragraph (b) of that subsection shall not apply in such cases as may be specified by regulations made by the Minister.

(3)The Minister may make regulations—

(a)imposing on the owner and driver of any vehicle in which equipment is installed for the purposes of this section, and the employer of an employee-driver, duties—

(i)as to the working of the equipment and for preventing misuse thereof;

(ii)as to any keys or other appliances used in connection with the equipment, including the keeping and preservation of records in connection with such keys or appliances;

(b)imposing on the owner of any vehicle in which equipment is installed for the purposes of this section duties as to the preservation of any records produced by means of the equipment.

(4)Any person who—

(a)contravenes subsection (1) of this section; or

(b)being the employer of any other person, or a person to whose orders any other person is subject, causes or permits that other person to contravene that subsection ; or

(c)contravenes any regulations made under subsection (3) of this section,

shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £200 ; but a person shall not be liable to be convicted by virtue of paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection by reason of a contravention of subsection (1)(b) of this section if he proves to the court that the equipment in the vehicle in question ceased to be in working order in the course of a journey being undertaken by that vehicle, that neither he nor (if a different person) the driver of the vehicle was responsible for the equipment ceasing to be in working order and that the journey was not continued after it had become reasonably practicable in all the circumstances for the equipment to be restored to working order.

(5)A record produced by means of equipment installed for the purposes of this section in any vehicle shall, in any proceedings under this Part of this Act, be evidence of the matters appearing from the record.

98Written records

(1)The Minister may make regulations—

(a)for requiring drivers to keep, and employers of employee-drivers to cause to be kept, in such books as may be specified in the regulations records with respect to such matters relevant to the enforcement of this Part of this Act as may be so specified ; and

(b)for requiring owner-drivers and the employers of employee-drivers to maintain such registers as may be so specified with respect to any such books as aforesaid which are in their possession or in that of any employee-drivers in their employment.

(2)Regulations under this section may contain such supplementary and incidental provisions as the Minister thinks necessary or expedient, including in particular provisions—

(a)specifying the person or persons from whom books and registers required for the purposes of the regulations are to be obtained and, if provision is made for them to be obtained from the Minister, charging a fee for their issue by him (which shall be payable into the Consolidated Fund);

(b)as to the form and manner of making of entries in such books and registers;

(c)as to the issue by and return to the employers of employee-drivers of books required to be kept by the latter for the purposes of the regulations;

(d)requiring any book in current use for the purposes of the regulations to be carried on, or by the driver of, any vehicle, as to the preservation of any books and registers used for those purposes, and otherwise as to the manner in which those books and registers are to be dealt with;

(e)for exemptions from all or any of the requirements of the regulations in respect of drivers of small goods vehicles as defined in section 103(6) of this Act and for other exemptions from all or any of those requirements.

(3)Subject to the provisions of any regulations made by the Minister, the traffic commissioners or licensing authority for any area may dispense with the observance by any employee-driver or his employer, or by any owner-driver, of any requirement imposed under this section, either generally or in such circumstances or to such extent as the commissioners or authority think fit, but the traffic commissioners or licensing authority shall not grant such a dispensation unless satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for the requirement dispensed with to be observed.

(4)Any person who contravenes any regulations made under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £200; but the employer of an employee-driver shall not be liable to be convicted under this subsection by reason of contravening any such regulation whereby he is required to cause any records to be kept if he proves to the court that he has given proper instructions to his employees with respect to the keeping of the records and has from time to time taken reasonable steps to secure that those instructions are being carried out.

(5)Any entry made by an employee-driver for the purposes of regulations under this section shall, in any proceedings under this Part of this Act, be admissible in evidence against his employer.

99Inspection of records and other documents

(1)An officer may, on production if so required of his authority, require any person to produce, and permit him to inspect and copy—

(a)any book or register which that person is required by regulations under section 98 of this Act to carry or have in his possession for the purpose of making in it any entry required by those regulations or which is required under those regulations to be carried on any vehicle of which that person is the driver ;

(b)any record, book or register which that person is required by regulations under section 97 or 98 of this Act to preserve ;

(c)if that person is the owner of a vehicle to which this Part of this Act applies, any other document of that person which the officer may reasonably require to inspect for the purpose of ascertaining whether the provisions of this Part of this Act or of regulations made thereunder have been complied with;

and that record, book, register or document shall, if the officer so requires by notice in writing served on that person, be produced at the office of the traffic commissioners or licensing authority specified in the notice within such time (not being less than ten days) from the service of the notice as may be so specified.

(2)An officer may, on production if so required of his authority—

(a)at any time, enter any vehicle to which this Part of this Act applies and inspect that vehicle and any equipment installed in it for the purposes of section 97 of this Act and inspect and copy any record on the vehicle which has been produced by means of that equipment;

(b)at any time which is reasonable having regard to the circumstances of the case, enter any premises on which he has reason to believe that such a vehicle is kept or that any such records, books, registers or other documents as are mentioned in subsection (1) of this section are to be found, and inspect any such vehicle, and inspect and copy any such record, book, register or document, which he finds there.

(3)For the purpose of exercising his powers under subsection (2)(a) and, in respect of a document carried on, or by the driver of, a vehicle, under subsection (1)(a) of this section, an officer may detain the vehicle in question during such time as is required for the exercise of that power.

(4)Any person who—

(a)fails to comply with any requirement under subsection (1) of this section ; or

(b)obstructs an officer in the exercise of his powers under subsection (2) or (3) of this section,

shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £100.

(5)Any person who makes, or causes to be made, any such record as is mentioned in section 97 of this Act or any entry in a book or register kept for the purposes of regulations under section 98 thereof which he knows to be false or, with intent to deceive, alters or causes to be altered any such record or entry shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £200 ;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

(6)If an officer has reason to believe that an offence under subsection (5) of this section has been committed in respect of any record or document inspected by him under this section, he may seize that record or document; and where a record or document is seized as aforesaid and within six months of the date on which it was seized no person has been charged since that date with an offence in relation to that record or document under that subsection and the record or document has not been returned to the person from whom it was taken, a magistrate's court shall, on an application made for the purpose by that person or by an officer, make such order respecting the disposal of the record or document and award such costs as the justice of the case may require.

(7)Any proceedings in Scotland under subsection (6) of this section shall be taken by way of summary application in the sheriff court; and in the application of that subsection to Scotland references to costs shall be construed as references to expenses.

(8)In this section " officer" means a certifying officer appointed under Part III of the Act of 1960, a public service vehicle examiner, an examiner appointed under Part IV of that Act and any person authorised for the purposes of this section by the traffic commissioners or licensing authority for any area.

(9)The powers conferred by this section on an officer as defined in subsection (8) of this section shall be exercisable also by a police constable, who shall not, if wearing uniform, be required to produce any authority.

(10)In this section references to the inspection and copying of any record produced by means of equipment installed for the purposes of section 97 of this Act in a vehicle include references to the application to the record of any process for eliciting the information recorded thereby and to taking down the information elicited from it.

100Power to give effect to international agreements

(1)The Minister may by order make, in relation to Great Britain, such provision as appears to him to be requisite for enabling the United Kingdom to become a party to any international agreement relating to the drivers or crews of vehicles used on international journeys, and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this subsection, an order under this subsection may—

(a)modify or exclude any of the provisions contained in or having effect under this Part of this Act or contained in or having effect under any other enactment passed before or after this Act;

(b)provide for exemptions from all or any of the provisions of the order;

(c)provide for the punishment of contraventions of any provision of the order ;

(d)contain such supplementary, incidental or consequential provisions as appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient.

(2)The Governor of Northern Ireland may, by Order in the Privy Council of Northern Ireland, make provision in relation to Northern Ireland for any purpose for which provision may be made in relation to Great Britain under subsection (1) of this section, and in relation to any such Order the provisions of that subsection shall apply accordingly as if for references to the Minister there were substituted references to the Governor of Northern Ireland; and any such Order may authorise the Ministry of Home Affairs for Northern Ireland to make regulations for any of the purposes of the Order.

101Orders and regulations under Part VI

(1)In relation to orders or regulations made under this Part of this Act, the provisions of this section shall have effect in addition to the provisions of section 157 of this Act.

(2)Any order or regulations under this Part of this Act may make different provision for different classes of case.

(3)No order shall be made under section 96(12) or 100(1) of this Act unless a draft of the order has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament; and any regulations made under this Part of this Act (except regulations made by virtue of an Order under section 100(2)) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(4)No recommendation shall be made to the Governor of Northern Ireland in Council to make an Order under subsection (2) of section 100 of this Act unless a draft thereof has been laid before the Parliament of Northern Ireland and has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament of Northern Ireland; and an Order under that subsection which authorises the making of regulations may make provision for the laying of such regulations before the Parliament of Northern Ireland and for their annulment in such circumstances as may be specified in the Order.

(5)A definition or description of a class of vehicles for the purposes of any order or regulation under this Part of this Act may be framed by reference to any characteristic of the vehicles or to any other circumstances whatsoever.

(6)Before making any order or regulations under this Part of this Act the Minister shall consult with such representative organisations as he thinks fit.

102Application to the Crown and exemption for police and fire brigade

(1)Subject to subsection (2) of this section, this Part of this Act shall apply to vehicles and persons in the public service of the Crown.

(2)This Part of this Act shall not apply in the case of motor vehicles owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and used for naval, military or air force purposes or in the case of vehicles so used while being driven by persons for the time being subject to the orders of a member of the armed forces of the Crown.

(3)For the purpose of proceedings for an offence under this Part of this Act in connection with a vehicle in the public service of the Crown, being proceedings against a person other than the driver of the vehicle, the person nominated in that behalf by the department in whose service the vehicle is used shall be deemed to be the person actually responsible unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that the driver only was responsible.

(4)This Part of this Act shall not apply in the case of motor vehicles while being used for police or fire brigade purposes.

103Interpretation, supplementary provisions, etc., for Part VI

(1)In this Part of this Act—

  • " agriculture " has the meaning assigned by section 109(3) of the Agriculture Act 1947 or, in relation to Scotland, section 86(3) of the Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948 ;

  • "driver", "employee-driver" and "owner-driver" have the meaning assigned by section 95(3) of this Act;

  • " employer ", in relation to an employee-driver, means the employer of that driver in the employment by virtue of which that driver is an employee-driver;

  • " licensing authority " has the same meaning as in Part V of this Act;

  • " prescribed " means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister;

  • " working day ", in relation to any driver, means—

    (a)

    any period during which he is on duty and which does not fall to be aggregated with any other such period by virtue of paragraph (b) of this definition; and

    (b)

    where a period during which he is on duty is not followed by an interval for rest of not less than eleven hours or (where permitted by virtue of section 96(4)(b) of this Act) of not less than nine and a half hours, the aggregate of that period and each successive such period until there is such an interval as aforesaid, together with any interval or intervals between periods so aggregated ;

  • " working week " means, subject to subsection (5) of this section, a week beginning at midnight between Saturday and Sunday; and any expression not defined above which is also used in the Act of 1960 has the same meaning as in that Act.

(2)For the purposes of this Part of this Act a director of a company shall be deemed to be employed by it.

(3)In this Part of this Act references to a person driving a vehicle are references to his being at the driving controls of the vehicle for the purpose of controlling its movement, whether it is in motion or is stationary with the engine running.

(4)In this Part of this Act references to a driver being on duty are references—

(a)in the case of an employee-driver, to his being on duty (whether for the purpose of driving a vehicle to which this Part of this Act applies or for other purposes) in the employment by virtue of which he is an employee-driver, or in any other employment under the person who is his employer in the first-mentioned employment; and

(b)in the case of an owner-driver, to his driving a vehicle to which this Part of this Act applies for the purposes of a trade or business carried on by him or being otherwise engaged in work for the purposes of that trade or business, being work in connection with such a vehicle or the load carried thereby.

(5)The traffic commissioners or licensing authority for any area may, on the application of an owner-driver or of the employer of an employee-driver, from time to time direct that a week beginning at midnight between two days other than Saturday and Sunday shall be, or be deemed to have been, a working week in relation to that owner-driver or employee-driver; but where by virtue of any such direction a new working week begins before the expiration of a previous working week then, without prejudice to the application of the provisions of this Part of this Act in relation to the new working week, those provisions shall continue to apply in relation to the previous working week until its expiration.

(6)In sections 97(2)(a) and 98(2)(e) of this Act " a small goods vehicle " means a goods vehicle which has a plated weight of the prescribed description not exceeding three and a half tons or (not having a plated weight) has an unladen weight not exceeding thirty hundredweight; but the Minister may by regulations direct that the foregoing provisions of this subsection shall have effect, in relation to either or both of those sections—

(a)with the substitution for either of the weights there specified of such other weight as may be specified in the regulations;

(b)with the substitution for either of those weights or for any other weight for the time being specified as aforesaid of a weight expressed in terms of the metric system, being a weight which is equivalent to that for which it is substituted or does not differ from it by more than five per cent. thereof.

(7)Without prejudice to any jurisdiction of any court under any other enactment, proceedings for an offence under this Part of this Act may be commenced in any court having jurisdiction in the place where the person charged with the offence is for the time being.

(8)The enactments specified in Schedule 11 to this Act shall have effect subject to the amendments there specified.

(9)Any order made under section 166(2) of this Act appointing a day for the purposes of any of the provisions of this Part of this Act may contain such transitional provision as the Minister thinks necessary or expedient as respects the application of any particular provision of this Part of this Act to a working week or working day falling partly before and partly after the date on which that provision comes into operation.