While HGV drivers’ hours are being increased to tackle driver shortages in the UK, all motorists in Ireland must continue to comply with the rules of our road to ensure safe driving and working conditions, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Galway East TD Deputy Ciaran Cannon said a temporary extension of drivers’ hours is in place in the UK to allow operators make longer journeys in a bid to counteract the impacts of a HGV driver shortage which has resulted in too few drivers available to transport fresh produce before it spoils.
Deputy Cannon said: “Road safety laws may be changing North of the border and across the Irish Sea, however, the rules and legislation in place to protect our haulage drivers and ensure their safe working conditions on Irish roads have remained the same.
“Our regulations on HGV drivers’ hours and rests are in place to protect our haulage workers first and foremost, but also to ensure the safety of our roads for all drivers.
“The concession, which includes increases to daily driving limits and changes to drivers’ weekly rest patterns, comes into effect across the UK today. With this change comes the possibility of increased dangerous driving on Irish roads as those coming from Northern Ireland could be operating while tired and overworked.
“Regardless of where your journey begins or ends, once you are driving on Irish roads, you must comply with Irish road safety laws.
“We need to see the Department of Transport, the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána actively engaging with HGV drivers and representative organisations to ensure they are aware of the differences in regulations, and continue to comply fully with our road safety legislation, including the need to take regular breaks, while operating in Ireland”, Deputy Cannon concluded.