DfT issues guidance on drivers' hours exemptions in extreme weather

M80 snowbound by night


The DfT has published guidance on special dispensation for HGV drivers to exceed drivers’ hours to find a safe stopping point in the event of extreme weather.

In a statement on its website, it said: “During special circumstances, such as extreme weather events, normal drivers’ hours limits can be exceeded in order for drivers to reach a safe stopping place necessary for public safety (including the safety of the driver, other road users, the load or and the vehicle).”

For example, if a commercial vehicle driver gets stuck on a closed road, or experiences a serious delay due to bad weather, they are allowed to continue travelling to a safe parking zone even if this exceeds their normal drivers’ hours.

However, during severe weather, drivers are advised to only travel if absolutely essential and to follow all official road and weather warnings.

DfT added that the decision to travel is at the discretion of the driver. However, they must also ensure that road safety is not compromised when finding a safe and secure stopping place.

In addition, emergency exemptions are available for certain operations, when deviation from the normal rules is needed to avoid:

  • danger to life or health of people or animals
  • serious interruption to the maintenance of public services (e.g. water, gas, electricity, drainage) or in the use of roads
  • serious interruption in private or public transport
  • serious damage to property

Full details of how the exemptions work and apply to your operation can be found in guidance on DfT's website.

If you have any uncertainty or queries about the use of the emergencies or rescue operations exemption, contact DfT's Freight Operator Licensing and Roadworthiness Division on 020 7944 2123. Out of hours: 020 7944 5999.

Gray & Adams enjoys an ‘exceptionally good’ year

Gray & Adams

Gray & Adams had its most successful year to date in the 12 months to April 2017, with pre-tax profit rising from £8.1m to £9.7m and turnover increasing by 19% to £148.3m.

The temperature-controlled semi-trailer specialist, which employs approximately 730 people across facilities in Fraserburgh, Dunfermline, Belfast, Doncaster and Bedford, has seen its profitability improve year on year in the past five years. Mark Grant, group finance director, described the results as exceptionally good and said the family-owned company had increased sales in all its primary product lines.

He added: “We are accustomed to building large quantity orders, but this year’s results were boosted by a handful of large trailer and truck body orders that are not an annual occurrence. As a result, production levels across all our four manufacturing locations increased, and productivity improvements have led to greater profits.

“It was fitting that we had our most successful year to date in 2017, which was the occasion of the company’s 60th anniversary.”

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