Working hours of a driver
The provisions on driving times and rest periods for drivers are uniform throughout the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA). Each Member State undertakes monitoring in its area by performing inspections on the road and in company premises.
Driving times and rest periods are usually monitored in companies by the occupational safety and health authorities.
The EU driving time and rest period provisions do not apply to those drivers for whom using a tachograph is not mandatory. In their case, Finland’s Working Hours Act and the applicable collective agreement, if there is one, apply.
Monitoring of driving time and rest period rules concerns both Finnish and foreign vehicles and their drivers, as the rules principally apply to all bus, coach and truck drivers, with a few exceptions.
The Driving Time and Rest Periods Regulation basically applies to the carriage by road:
1. of goods where the maximum permissible mass of the vehicle, including any trailer or semi-trailer, exceeds 3.5 tonnes, or
2. of passengers by vehicles which are constructed or permanently adapted for carrying more than nine persons including the driver, and are intended for that purpose.
The Regulation does not apply to driving on public roads in the case of crossing a public road when the driving has to do with work generally performed off public roads. Driving on public roads except in cases where the use of a tachograph is not mandatory is subject to a weekly rest period, a daily rest period and (if the total daily driving time exceeds 4.5 hours) rest breaks during the day.
Any driving off public roads is entered as ‘other work’. The Regulation also applies to vehicle combinations where the towing vehicle is a car but the total mass of the combination exceeds 3,500 kg. The Regulation applies regardless of whether the vehicle is loaded or not.
However, the Regulation does not apply to specialised vehicles not intended for the transport of goods or passengers. Such vehicles include mobile cranes and concrete pump trucks that do not themselves carry goods.
A comprehensive list of exceptions to the mandatory use of a tachograph is given on the page Exceptions.
Your employer must provide occupational health care for all employees. The occupational health care agreement must be available for employees to see at the workplace. The agreement will show you what the occupational health service includes.
Notify your employer immediately of any shortcomings in a vehicle or in your work environment that you cannot correct yourself.
Also notify your employer of any work you do in the transport business or outside it so that your employer can be sure of your compliance with statutory driving times and rest periods.
Give your driver card to your employer for the copying of digital data at least once every three weeks. Data must be copied from the cards of temporary drivers too.
Keep the following with you when driving:
- your driver card,
- the tachograph cards used over the past 28 days, and
- your log book, if you have one.
When the time required for keeping tachograph cards with you has expired, give the cards to your employer. If you want to have copies of the cards, your employer is required to provide them for you.
Remember to use the time group selector and country code.
Your driver card is non-transferable. Never lend your card to anyone or use anyone else's card; you may lose your driver card.
Ensure that you have had sufficient rest before you start a trip.
The employer must provide occupational health care for all employees. Occupational health care may be provided to the statutory extent, which does not include medical care, or more broadly including medical care.
The employer is required to organise a driver’s work so that the driver can comply with the rules on driving times, breaks and rest periods. The employer must monitor that rules are complied with and that the tachograph is being correctly used.
The employer is responsible for ensuring that a vehicle is not given to a driver who does not have a valid driver card.
The employer must also provide drivers with appropriate instructions concerning the use of the tachograph and concerning driving times and rest periods.
A transport company must copy digital tachograph data from the vehicle (every 2 months) and from the driver card (every 3 weeks). The company must also collect and store tachograph cards, sorted by driver and by time.
If the employer enters into an agreement with a temporary agency or a subcontractor, the employer as the contractor is responsible for obtaining the reports specified in the Act on the Contractor’s Obligations and Liability when Work is Contracted Out.
Road Traffic Act (267/1981) (in Finnish)
Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport and amending Council Regulations (EEC) No 3821/85 and (EC) No 2135/98 and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85
- Article 13 – List of exceptions to the use of a tachograph
Council regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 on recording equipment in road transport
(The regulation has been repealed, but the transition period will last until 2026)
Regulation (EU) no 165/2014 of the European Parliament and of the council on tachographs in road transport, repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 on recording equipment in road transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport
- Section 7 Exemptions concerning the use of a tachograph and driving times
- Chapter 3 Section 8: Working hours of motor vehicle drivers
- Chapter 6 Section 30: The daily rest period of a motor vehicle driver
- Chapter 7 Section 37a: Motor vehicle drivers' personal driver's logs