Driver times and breaks for school trips

Drivers should take breaks on long school journeys.

October 12 2016. Here is some guidance for teachers or other adults driving vehicles on school trips.

Drivers should ensure they take sufficient rest breaks when taking school students on long-distance trips, such as sports exchanges or school camps.

As a rule of thumb, drivers should aim for the equivalent of a 5-10 minute stop every 60 minutes of drive time. To find suitable stops, it's okay to drive a little longer for the first 2-3 hours of driving. But after 4 hours, make the driving time between stops about 45 minutes.

It is also important for schools to understand the concept of work time and not just calculate driving times in isolation. Time spent working in other duties before the drive contributes to the equation in term of fatigue.

As well,

  • A driver should not exceed 5 and 1/2 hours of continuous work time (this includes driving and non-driving duties); without taking a rest break of at least 30 minutes; and
  • A driver should not exceed 13 hours of work time in any cumulative work day (defined as a 24 hour period starting after a continuous rest of at least 10 hours);
  • A driver should have at least 10 hours of continuous rest in any cumulative work day.

Also remember:

Teachers need a full drivers licence, the vehicle needs to be in a roadworthy condition at the time and it must display a current WOF. Appropriate seat belts (or restraints if under the age of seven) need to be worn by the driver and each passenger.

Please note: this article provides guidance only. It is not a legal document.