Wednesday, 7 December 2005

Bus Driver's Hours

Yesterday a notice went up at work regarding driving hours. It was posted by the Union Rep who it would appear has not done his homework, naughty boy. He is giving his members what I concider unsafe advice based on his belief that 5 1/2 hours is the maximum a bus driver can drive for before he must take a break. Not so, the Depatment for Transport offer two choices for continuous driving limits. The bit in red is a direct copy taken from the Department for Transport, Vehicle & Operator Services Agency

Domestic Driving Limits for PCV Drivers

Daily Driving
10 hours on any working day


Cumulative or continuous Driving
5 ½ hours- after this, a break of at least 30 minutes must be taken in which the driver is able to obtain rest and refreshment;


or within any period of 8 ½ hours in the working day, total breaks amounting to at least 45 minutes are taken so that the driver does not drive for more than seven and three quarter hours. The driver must in addition have a break of at least 30 minutes to obtain rest or refreshment at the end of this period unless it is the end of the working day.


What this means in practice is if you start driving at 06:00 and are due to have a break at 10:30 and you arrive in Paignton and are asked to take the bus to Newton and back you can. You arrive back in Paignton at 12:30 and have driven for 6 ½ hours. Now some time before 14:30 you must have 45 minutes break which you now take. So at 13:15 you go out driving again. At 14:30 (the end of the 8 ½ hour period) you must now take a break of 30 minutes.

If you are asked to drive over 5 ½ hours in the second half of your duty then you must have a break of 45 minutes, and be paid for that break.

Do keep a record of any driving and breaks that you take if you are asked to drive beyond the more usual limit of 5 ½ hours and under no circumstances drive beyond 10 hours in a day. If you are coming up to this limit please give control at least one hours warning, don’t just drive for 10 hours, pull up half down Pimlico and get on the radio and announce that you are out of hours and could they send a driver down to move the bus as you are blocking up the town.

13 comments:

jaysto said...

hi your trade union is 100% correct,if you take time to read CAREFULLY you will see that 5hrs 30mins IS the maximum allowed driving hours. if you drive over this without a break YOUR ARE BREAKING THE LAW AND PUTTING YOURSELF AND YOUR PASSENGERS AT RISK .please take the time to read VERY CAREFULLY ,if you dont understand the regulations then ask .your trade union is there to help you ,and to help you keep your job.

David said...

The Trade Unions I have belonged to, and I have belonged in my working career to 4 diferent Unions, have at some point let me down when it came to protecting MY job.
Read the bit in red again carefully as you suggest and you will see there are two different options, and the word OR is used. This means you can follow one rule OR the other depending on circumstances. I will admit the second rule is aimed more at coach drivers than bus drivers but bus drivers and coach drivers both have the same Licence.

Anonymous said...

It is all rather complicated. A further consideration is that this 8.5 hours encompasses driving time only, i.e. on top of this, sign-on, sign-off and cahsing-in proceedures are not covered.

An important factor not mentioned is the maximum daily driving time for Domestic Bus Drivers being 10 hours. If you undertake 7:45 over an 8:30 period, following which it is not the end of your shift (so a 0:30 break must be given), you're only permitted to drive a further 2:15 in that 24-hour period.

Anonymous said...

I find it all confusing and you just know companies will take advantage in situations

Anonymous said...

what about lay over time is that classd as a break or dose that come under driving time

Iwan said...

War if you have short stints of driving every hour with 10 - 15 min wait hourly free time is this classed as break or not?

David said...

breaks of less than 30 minutes don't count, sorry

Anonymous said...

who is responsible for drivers hours and keeping checks so they don't break the law the driver or employer

David said...

The driver is the one who gets into trouble if he goes over his hours. In the coach and lorry driving trade it is definatly the drivers responsability, the boss can not make him/her drive longer than they should. In the bus trade driver's hours are set by the company when they make up the driver's duties. What a bus driver has to watch is that he doesn't do so much overtime as to take him over his hours, usually the bus company will spot if he is likely to go over but in the end it is up to the driver.

Anonymous said...

I have been told by my union that it is a Federal Regulation that we are actually allowed to drive 15 hours a day is there an exempt carreir of this rule?

Anonymous said...

M.E. HAVING REAL PROBLEMS WITH DRIVING HOURS AT WORK,PLEASE CAN YOU ANSWER THIS FOR ME.I CLOCK IN AT 0800 SWEEP AND MOP OUT BUS THEN PROCEED TO DO MY DAILEY WALKROUND CHECK,THEN ONTO THE PUMPS FOR FUEL AND IF I GET A CHANCE ONTO THE WASH TO MANUALLY WASH THE EXTERIOR BY HAND USING BROOM,BUCKET AND PRESSURE WASH.I THEN DRIVE 20MINS TO MY START POINT,I THEN CONTIUALLY DRIVE ON SECTION 22 REGULATIONS FROM 0917 TILL 1517 ON A SPECIFIC ROUTE AND THEN 20MINS BACK TO THE DEPOT.MY BOSSES SAY I DONT NEED A BREAK AS I GET 6 DROP BACK TIMES AT THE END OF EACH TRIP RANGING FROM 5MINS TO 1MINS TOTALING TO 27 MINS WHICH THEY SAY IS AN ACCUMALATIVE BREAK EARNED AND THAT IS MY BREAK(NO WHERE AT ANY OF THESE TERMINUS,S ARE THERE ANY FACILLITIES FOR TOILETS FOOD OR WASHING)AM I DRIVING ILLEGALLY OR ARE THE COMPANY CORRECT IN WHAT THEY ARE TELLING US

Terence Seerey said...

I need some advice,my shift was 8.10 hrs.start time 04.50hrs.I drive for 4hrs as there is no toilet facilities available until 08.50.I secure vehicle.as a result my ops manager taking his children to school saw my vehicle at terminus?.as a result he has now put me on a different route and I am know 12hrs down now.I filled out running late/lost mileage forms for this.union not recognized at company.

Simon Couldridge said...

Try doing a 6 hour & twenty minutes shift bus driving with no designated break and stand times that are lost because of traffic etc.In your opinion, is that legal ??