Under the current law, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) examiners have the authority to:
- inspect your vehicles
- prohibit and direct your vehicles
- investigate any possible breaches of regulations
- instigate, conduct and appear at magistrates’ court hearings
If an infringement is found in your records, the law protects you from conviction if you can prove that you took all reasonable steps to make sure that your driver kept proper records.
Infringements of GB drivers’ hours rules
The GB law protects from conviction in court domestic drivers who can prove that because of unforeseen circumstances, they were unavoidably delayed in finishing a journey and had to breach the rules. You are also protected if it is discovered that any driver was involved in other driving jobs that you could not have known about.
For information on rules that cover drivers’ hours, taking breaks, vehicles that are exempt from the rules and penalties that you may face if you breach those rules, you can read our guide on GB drivers’ hours rules
Infringements of European Union (EU) drivers’ hours rules
The EU law protects from conviction in court those drivers who can prove that, because of unforeseen circumstances, they were unavoidably delayed in finishing a journey and breached the rules.
Under the EU rules, the transport company is liable for any infringements committed by its driver. However, you will not be held responsible for these offences if you can show that at the time of the infringement, your driver’s work was being organised in full consideration of the rules, and in particular that:
- no payments were made that encouraged breaches
- work was properly organised
- the driver was properly instructed
- regular checks were made
For information about rules for drivers’ hours and breaks, including how to comply, which vehicles are exempt and any penalties that you may face if you breach those rules, you can read our guide on EU drivers’ hours rules.
Penalties for infringements of the drivers’ hours rules in Great Britain
Part VI of the Transport Act 1968 (as amended) sets out maximum fines that can be imposed by a court of law if you – as a driver or operator – are convicted of breaking drivers’ hours rules.
|Failure to observe driving time, break or rest period rules||Fine up to £2,500 (Level 4)|
|Failure to make or keep records under UK rules||Fine up to £2,500 (Level 4)|
|Failure to install a tachograph||Fine up to £5,000 (Level 5)|
|Failure to use a tachograph||Fine up to £5,000 (Level 5)|
|Failure to hand over records relating to recording equipment as requested by an enforcement officer||Fine up to £5,000|
|False entry or alteration of a record with the intent to deceive||On summary conviction – fine of £5,000 / On indictment – two years’ imprisonment|
|Altering or forging the seal on a tachograph with the intent to deceive||On summary conviction – fine of £5,000 / On incictment – two years’ imprisonment|
|Failure to take all reasonable steps to ensure that contractually agreed transport time schedules respect EU rules||Fine up to £2,500 (Level 4)|