Exceptions

Exceptions applying to all Member States

Exceptions have been enacted to the general rules provided in the EU Driving Time and Rest Period Regulation, both exceptions applying to all Member States and exceptions applying to specific Member States. Although the wording of many of the clauses concerning exceptions refers only to vehicles, the interpretation of these provisions is governed by the type of transport for which the vehicle is used.

Exceptions applying to all Member States are listed in Article 3 of the Regulation. The Article states that the Regulation shall not apply to carriage by road by:

a. vehicles used for the carriage of passengers on regular services where the route covered by the service in question does not exceed 50 kilometres,

a.a. vehicles or combinations of vehicles with a maximum permissible mass not exceeding 7.5 tonnes used for carrying materials, equipment or machinery for the driver’s use in the course of his work, and which are used only within a 100 km radius from the base of the undertaking and on the condition that driving the vehicle does not constitute the driver’s main activity,

b.  vehicles with a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 40 kilometres per hour,

c. vehicles owned or hired without a driver by the armed services, civil defence services, fire services, and forces responsible for maintaining public order when the carriage is undertaken as a consequence of the tasks assigned to these services and is under their control,

d.  vehicles, including vehicles used in the non-commercial transport of humanitarian aid, used in emergencies or rescue operations,

e.  specialised vehicles used for medical purposes,

f.  Specialised breakdown vehicles operating within a 100 km radius of their base,

g. vehicles undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, and new or rebuilt vehicles which have not yet been put into service,

h.  vehicles or combinations of vehicles with a maximum permissible mass not exceeding 7.5 tonnes used for the non-commercial carriage of goods, and

i.  commercial vehicles which have a historic status according to the legislation of the Member State in which they are being driven and which are used for the non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods.

Exceptions applying to Finland (Decree on the Use of Vehicles on the Road, section 7)

In addition to the exceptions listed above that apply across the EU, Member States are allowed to exclude certain types of carriage from the scope of the Driving Time and Rest Period Regulation (and thus also the Tachograph Regulation).

The Driving Time and Rest Period Regulation will not apply, nor does a tachograph need to be used, in the following types of carriage in Finland:

a. in vehicles used or hired, without a driver, by agricultural, horticultural, farming or fishery undertakings within a radius of up to 100 kilometres from the base of the undertaking on the condition that driving the vehicle does not constitute the driver's main activity and that the vehicle carries minor quantities of the undertaking's own products which are sold at a marketplace or at another specific location, or horses kept by these undertakings,

b.  b. in vehicles or combinations of vehicles with a maximum permissible mass not exceeding 7.5 tonnes used for postal delivery as referred to in the Postal Services Act (313/2001) or for carrying materials, equipment or machinery for the driver's use in the course of his/her work, on the condition that the vehicle or combination of vehicles is used only within a 50 kilometre radius from the base of the undertaking and driving the vehicles does not constitute the driver's main activity,

c. in vehicles used exclusively on an island not exceeding 2,300 square kilometres in area which is not linked to the mainland by a bridge, ford or tunnel open for use by motor vehicles,

d.  in vehicles used for driving instruction and examination with a view to obtaining a driving licence or a certificate of professional competence, provided that they are not being used for commercial transport,

e.  e. in vehicles used in connection with sewerage, flood protection, water, gas and electricity maintenance services, road maintenance and control, door-to-door household refuse collection and disposal, telegraph and telephone services, radio and television broadcasting, and the detection of radio or television transmitters or receivers,

f.  in vehicles with between 10 and 17 seats not used for commercial transport,

g. in vehicles used as an educational facility when stationary,

h.  in vehicles intended for milk collection from farms and for the return to farms of milk containers or milk products intended for animal feed,

i.  in vehicles transporting money or valuables,

j.  in vehicles used for carrying animal waste or carcasses which are not intended for human consumption,

k.  in vehicles used exclusively on roads inside hub facilities such as ports, interports and railway terminals,

l.  in vehicles used for the carriage of live animals from farms to local markets or to slaughterhouses and vice versa, within a radius of up to 50 kilometres from the farm, and

m. in specialised vehicles of a circus or funfair.

An exception to the Regulation may also be made in the carriage of live fish between 15 April and 30 June and between 15 August and 31 October as follows:

  • The daily maximum driving time may be extended by no more than 2 hours.
  • The average weekly driving time of 45 hours may be extended by no more than 10 hours.
  • The total accumulated driving time during any two consecutive weeks may be extended by no more than 20 hours.

Exceptions valid in northern Finland

For certain types of carriage that happen wholly within the former Provinces of Lapland and Oulu or that have their origin or destination in said Provinces, except for the cities of Oulu and Kajaani, or elsewhere in Finland in any municipality where the population density is less than five inhabitants per square kilometre, the following exceptions may be made to the provisions of the Driving Time and Rest Period Regulation.

Passenger transport:

  • The 45-minute breaks for coaches in scheduled traffic may continue to be divided according to the old Driving Time and Rest Period Regulation (3820/85) into three portions, each at least 15 minutes long.

Goods transport:

  • The daily driving time referred to in the Regulation may be extended by no more than two hours, and the daily rest period may be reduced by no more than one hour in the case of towing or transports in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry or fishing involving taking produce to market, transporting horses in the driver’s own care, and live animal transports.