Coronavirus update: D4 medical suspension, driver hours and motorway services

The government has temporarily suspended the need for a D4 medical when renewing driving entitlements.

D4 medical suspension

With NHS staff rightly focused on the nationwide response to COVID-19, the government is taking action to protect essential supply chains by making temporary provisions for commercial drivers aged 45 and over, to forgo the need for a D4 medical in order to renew their driving entitlement.

This change is temporary and will only apply where the driver does not have any existing notifiable health conditions, and their licence has not expired before 1 January 2020. The licence will only be valid for 1 year instead of 5 years and the driver will need to submit a completed D4 when the licence is due for renewal in 12 months. 

Drivers will still be required to self-declare any medical conditions that may affect their ability to drive. Those with health issues that prevent them from driving safely will not have their licence renewed. All drivers must ensure they are medically fit to drive.

More information can be found on GOV.UK

Motorway services are open

Motorway and major trunk road services remain open 24 hours a day following advice from the government deeming them as ‘essential services’.

The welfare of commercial drivers is a priority. While some service stations have reduced their opening hours, fuel, toilets, food and drink remain available at all service stations 24 hours a day.

Drivers can plan their break stops by visiting the Highways England website, which is updated 7 days a week.

Driver hours relaxation extended to 31 May

As part of the government’s effort to keep supply chains moving throughout the coronavirus outbreak, the Department for Transport has authorised an extension to the existing relaxation of the drivers’ hours rules.

The extension means that the temporary relaxation previously due to end on 21 April will continue until 23:59 on 31 May 2020. This extension does not apply to the previous relaxation on break requirements.

Driver safety remains a priority for the government and drivers should not be expected to drive whilst tired.

Employers remain responsible for the health and safety of their employees and other road users.

Keep up to date with all official government advice on COVID-19 at GOV.UK.

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