Journeys to or through the countries that are signatories to the AETR Agreement (see list below) are subject to AETR rules. AETR rules apply to the whole journey, including any EU countries passed through.
Council Regulation (EC) 561/2006, which came into force in April 2007 replaced the previous EU Drivers Hours Rules. The AETR rules have now been aligned with Council Regulation (EC) 561/2006 and entered into force on 20 September 2010.
To assist those operators/drivers subject to AETR rules, there is a link at the foot of this page to download the current Consolidated Version of AETR in pdf format. There is a great deal of subject matter within affecting both LGV & PCV drivers, which also covers tachographs (Digital & Analogue) as well as reference to the Road Transport WTD.
What follows below is merely a brief overview.
- Breaks and Driving Limits
- Rest Periods
- Summary of AETR limits on drivers' hours
- AETR - International journeys to certain non-EC countries
After a period of no more than 4.5 hours of driving, a driver must take an uninterrupted break of at least 45 minutes, unless the driver begins a daily or weekly rest period. Alternatively, a full 45-minute break can be replaced by two breaks. The first break must be at least 15 minutes followed by a break of at least 30 minutes each distributed over the driving period or immediately after the driving period, as long as the total break adds up to 45 minutes.
Daily driving limit
The maximum daily driving time is 9 hours, which can be increased to 10 hours twice a week.
Weekly driving limit
The weekly driving time is a maximum of no more than 56 hours.
Fortnightly driving limit
The maximum fortnightly driving time during any two consecutive weeks shall not exceed 90 hours.
Daily Rest Periods - This means the daily period during which a driver may freely dispose of his time and covers a 'regular daily rest period' and a 'reduced daily rest period' as follows:
- 'Regular daily rest period' means any period of rest of at least 11 hours. Alternatively, this regular daily rest period may be taken in two periods (split daily rest period), the first of which must be an uninterrupted period of at least 3 hours and the second an uninterrupted period of at least 9 hours;
- 'Reduced daily rest period' means any period of rest of at least 9 hours but less than 11 hours;
- A 'Reduced daily rest period' can be taken no more than 3 times in any week
A daily rest period may be extended to make a 'regular weekly rest period' or a 'reduced weekly rest period'. A daily rest period may be taken in a vehicle, provided that it has suitable sleeping facilities and is stationary.
Weekly Rest Periods - means the weekly period during which a driver may freely dispose of his time and covers a 'regular weekly rest period' and a 'reduced weekly rest period'.
In any two consecutive weeks, a driver shall take at least:
- Two 'Regular weekly rest period' with each rest period being a minimum of 45 hours; or;
- One 'Regular weekly rest period' of at least 45 hours, and One 'Reduced weekly rest period' of a minimum of 24 consecutive hours. However, any reduction shall be compensated by an equivalent period of rest taken en-bloc before the end of the third week following the week in question.
Provided that road safety is not thereby jeopardised and to enable the driver to reach a suitable stopping place, the driver may depart from the provisions of AETR Rules to the extent necessary to ensure the safety of persons, of the vehicle or of its load. The driver shall indicate the nature of and reason for his departure from those provisions on the record sheet or on a printout of the control device or in his duty roster, at the latest on arrival at a suitable stopping place. See also Unforeseen events within this section of the site for further details.
AETR - International journeys to certain non-EC countries
Journeys to, or through, the countries listed below are subject to AETR rules and will apply to the whole journey including any EC countries passed through. When driving through a non-EC country not subject to the AETR agreement (such as Iceland), the drivers hours rules of that country must be obeyed.
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Serbia and Montenegro