Law allows lorry drivers to work while exhausted

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The Independent Online
A loophole in the law means lorry drivers can drive even when their judgment is almost as impaired as someone who is over the legal alcohol limit.

According to research carried out at the Centre for Sleep Research at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woodfield, Australia, after 23 hours without sleep the average person's hand-eye co-ordination is as badly affected as somebody with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 per cent - over the British legal limit.

But the Department of Transport yesterday admitted that lorry drivers are allowed to work for 20 hours without a break. The law states that they may only drive 10 hours in any 24-hour period - but there is nothing to prevent two periods of 10 hours being concurrent. The journey might start at the "end" of one day and continue into the "beginning" of the next.