Rules of the road to be 'relaxed' for lorry drivers transporting fodder
The Road Safety Authority is to adopt a 'pragmatic' approach when reviewing lorry driver’s hours compliance when transporting fodder.
It comes following on-going liaison over the past few days between the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Road Safety Authority about HGV transport operations associated with the delivery of animal fodder during the current fodder crisis.
Recognising the extraordinary and unexpected circumstances linked to unusual weather conditions in areas of the country and adverse impacts on the availability of animal fodder, the Road Safety Authority will adopt a pragmatic approach when reviewing driver’s hours compliance with driving and resting time periods during the course of roadside inspection and at premises inspections in respect of delivery and collection of such material.
During inspections, the history of the driver’s and operator’s overall compliance with the rules will be carefully assessed and that any deviation from the driving and resting time rules relates only to the carriage of animal fodder.
These arrangements apply from 6 April until 20 April 2018 but will be kept under continuous review in the light of the prevailing circumstances and having regard to wider road safety considerations
Any deviation from the driving and resting time rules must be a last resort. HGV operators must put in place contingency measures to cater for emergency and urgent situations and this must be properly documented and retained for inspection. This should be agreed by operators and their drivers.
The requirement to take breaks after 4.5 hours driving and weekly rest remains and will continue to be rigorously enforced.
As regards weekly rest, RSA will also apply a pragmatic approach in cases where drivers take more than one reduced weekly rest over a two-week driving period in respect of fodder deliveries.