Until now, it was not clear that in-cab rests taken in official truck stops would be exempt from this enforcement.
The RHA said that it was worried that fines could be imposed after a rest weekly rest was taken even in a truck stop or motorway services area, rather than in lay-bys and other places. The RHA asked for clarification from DVSA and the Department for Transport that in-cab weekly rests taken in official truck stops would not result in fines.
In response to the RHA request, DVSA has now confirmed that enforcement will apply to rests taken outside formal rest areas.
From 1 November, DVSA will start to punish drivers that take full weekly rest breaks in cabs outside formal rest areas (that is, service areas and truck stops). This will apply to weekly rests taken in public lay-bys, on or close to public roads and on motorway slip roads. Penalties will include fines and prohibitions.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “It would be totally inappropriate to ban all in-cab weekly rests; the impact on UK international and long-distance operators would have been catastrophic.
“The problem we have is with is inconsiderate – and sometimes illegal – weekly rests taken where there are no facilities. That is bad for the public, for the reputation of the industry, for drivers’ health and for the safety of other road users.”
He continues: “The real solution is more lorry parking. For 30 years we have failed to provide decent and safe parking for drivers to rest in; it is time we started to provide drivers with the respect and facilities they need.”
The RHA recommends that where weekend rests are taken in paid-for-lorry parking facilities, that drivers keep receipts to demonstrate they have parked appropriately.