Following a number of questions received into the legal and operational compliance of S Claus Transport, we've provided the following advice:
Dear Mr Claus,
Re: Christmas Eve Delivery
In answer to your questions regarding the operation of your delivery sleigh, please note the following:
1. Can I claim an exemption from EU Drivers Hours Rules?
Yes, we believe that the sleigh may have a historic status in each of the Member States visited. In the UK this is where the vehicle is more than 25 years old before the occasion on which it is being used and so meets the criteria.
2. Am I subject to the Working Time Regulations?
No – as an occasional driver you will not be subject to the regulations and will therefore be able to work for more than 10 hours on Christmas Eve.
3. Will I need a Driver CPC for this operation?
There is an exemption from Driver CPC provided the goods or materials carried are for the use of the driver in the course of their work. This is provided that driving the vehicle does not constitute the driver’s principal activity.
In your case, following extensive research, we believe that the driver's principal activity involves ‘making a list, checking it twice, finding out who's been naughty and who's been nice.' Delivering presents to those ‘good’ recipients is ancillary to this principal task. This means that the exemption DOES apply.
However, if the regulator finds that (on one evening in particular) driving the vehicle is your principal activity, you may still be prosecuted for driving without the CPC.
4. Will Rudolph’s red nose be classed as ‘showing a red light to the front’ under the Road Vehicle Lighting and Marking Regulations 1989?
Yes, whilst travelling at ground level his nose will need to be covered up but once the sleigh is airborne his nose may be used as a navigation light in accordance with aviation regulations.
5. Some of my presents will contain batteries and aerosols - will I be subject to ADR?
We believe that your operation will meet the criteria to claim an exemption under the ‘retail delivery’ rules for ADR.
6. I am told that if the sleigh is only 5% overweight I will not be prosecuted, is this true?
Not necessarily although there is a statutory defence available where you can show that the sleigh was correctly loaded at the start of its journey but the weight has increased by 5% during the course of the journey. This could be due to snow increasing the weight of the load. We feel that any increase in weight due to consumption of mince pies and carrots would not be allowed here.
NB Please be aware of the ‘diminishing load’ problem, as presents are delivered you must ensure that the distribution of the load is adjusted to avoid an overload on individual reindeer legs.