Northern Ireland has introduced a temporary and limited urgent relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules. The Department for Infrastructure has also introduced a temporary relaxation of NI Domestic drivers’ hours rules. Similar relaxations will be introduced in England, Scotland and Wales at the same time.
Anyone driving under the EU drivers’ hours rules or the NI Domestic drivers’ hours rules and undertaking carriage of goods by road can use the relevant relaxation where necessary.
The relaxations are not limited to specific sectors or journeys.
The relaxations apply from 00:01 on Monday 23 March 2020 and will run until 23:59 on Tuesday 21 April 2020.
This will cover all sectors not previously covered by the three relaxations already granted and will now cover, for example, delivery of gas, collection/delivery of milk/dairy, commercial and environmental waste.
Detail of relaxation of EU drivers’ hours rules
The EU drivers’ hours rules can be temporarily relaxed as follows:
- a) Replacement of the EU daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 11 hours
- b) Reduction of the daily rest requirements from 11 to 9 hours
- c) Lifting the weekly (56 hours) and fortnightly driving limits (90 hours) to 60 and 96 hours respectively
- d) Postponement of the requirement to start a weekly rest period after six-24 hours periods, for after seven 24 hours period; although two regular weekly rest periods or a regular and a reduced weekly rest period will still be required within a fortnight
- e) The requirements for daily breaks of 45 minutes after 4.5 hours driving replaced with a break of 45 minutes after 5.5 hours of driving
Drivers must not use relaxation ‘a’ and ‘d’ at the same time. This is to ensure drivers are able to get adequate rest.
The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) has suspended all MOT tests for three months with immediate effect.
All HGV and PSV vehicles with an MOT will be issued with a 3-month Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC).
Vehicles owners are required by law to ensure that their vehicle must be maintained, kept safe to drive (roadworthy) and operate within the terms of operators’ licence conditions.
— Dept Infrastructure (@deptinfra) March 24, 2020
In this critical week, it is important we do what we can to further prevent the spread of COVID19. I have taken the decision to suspend all MOT testing to protect our customers and staff and adhere to public health authority guidelines on social distancing” – infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said. – „Where we can, vehicles will be issued with a three month Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC) enabling those who need to make essential journeys to do so.”
In considering the latest health advice DVA has put in place additional measures to protect our staff and as a result, at this time, we are unable to accept any further first time driver licence applications.
— Dept Infrastructure (@deptinfra) March 23, 2020