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There is fresh concern that the laws concerning the working hours of professional drivers are out of date and poorly enforced.

Trade Union the TUC warned that recent research shows that many bus, van and coach drivers take fewear breaks than people with office jobs.  This is a worry for a profession that requires constant concentration for the sake of safety.

In a paper submitted to the Department of Transport, the union echoed these sentiments by reminding that long working hours are a major factor in driver fatigue.  Driver fatigue was a contributing factor in one in five road accidents in 2008.

The Great Britain Domestic Drivers' Hours rules affect most drivers and commercial vehicles. 

If company bosses fail to enforce these rules then any contract of insurance may be invalidated in the event of a road crash, collision or accident.  This in turn could lead to high levels of compensation payouts, even if the driver cannot be held completely at fault.

Apart from compensation risk from invalid insurance, excessive working time can also cause stress, back pain and increase the risk of heart disease and mental illness, says the TUC.

At the moment the problem is one for government and drivers unions have vowed to continue to call for Westminister to update the law to protect professional drivers and other road users.

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