Legislation Research

EU driving laws can get begin to get complicated under special circumstances. There are a lot of exceptions to the rules provided, but it basically boils down to a drive of a heavy goods vehicle may drive for four and a half hours maximum and then is required to rest for at least forty-five minutes before they are allowed to drive for another maximum of four and a half hours. My DriverTimer application only aids with these rules, it does not take in account the weekly maximum driving time, which is fifty-six hours, or fortnightly maximum which is ninety hours.

Applications on the Pebble cannot run in the background for more than two hours, this is a limitation introduced to increase battery life and overall performance of the limited powered device. To take in account for all the many driving laws, the app would have to be constantly running, even during times when the driver was not working. It would also require a lot of information to be displayed on the device, probably through the use of an intricate menu system, akin to the TruckerTimer app on Android which would be very cumbersome on a Pebble.

Aside from the hardware limitations, there is also a time limitation. For me to implement every single rule would take a very long time, likely more than I have available for my dissertation project.

A more detailed look at special circumstances and exceptions can be found on the official government website (https://www.gov.uk/drivers-hours/eu-rules).

 

Apart from wearable technology being more integrated and personal with the user, something I wish to explore with my project, it is also illegal to operate a mobile phone or similar devices while driving. Hence why I am creating an alternative to the existing smartphone applications. As with the driving laws, there are exceptions to using a mobile phone while driving that can be found on the government website (https://www.gov.uk/using-mobile-phones-when-driving-the-law). Historically, HGV drivers are penalised harsher than regular drivers for breaking this law.

 

Within the last few years, the EU governments have been introducing the Driver CPC scheme (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driver-cpc-don-t-miss-the-bus). This is typically a five day training course that all professional drivers need to attend, else they will no longer be able to drive professionally. These lessons get into EU driving laws at great depth to educate drivers and hopefully make roads safer. Prior to this, no knowledge of driving hours laws were legally required for someone to get their HGV licence and begin to work as a professional driver. This is a worthy initiative but it comes with one draw back for HGV drivers. If a driver has the CPC qualification, they are likely to be prosecuted for breaking any driving laws harsher than a driver who does not. The reasoning being is because the drivers should know better.

December 10, 2014