An about turn by VOSA (the Vehicle Operator Services Agency) within the UK could make it even harder for polocrosse players to get to their beloved sport. This week VOSA confirmed that the regulations restricting driving hours could affect people who drive private horseboxes over 7.5 tonnes. The regulations, which were bought in 2006, mean that drivers of large horseboxes have to take weekly rest periods of either 24 and 45 hours from work after they have completed six daily periods of work in order to drive within the law. The problem is that VOSA have now confirmed that the term “a daily period of work” means all work, not just driving, as was previously thought.
Before it was assumed that if you were private driver of a large horsebox (i.e. driving was not your job) who only drove your horsebox at weekends then it did not affect you as you only have to take a rest period after six daily periods of work and you would not achieve this simply driving at weekends. Now VOSA have made it clear that is not the case, your normal job during the week counts as work and so if you worked all week and then drove both days at the weekend you would mostly likely be in breach of regulations.
Though the regulations could cause problems for polocrosse it is actually likely to be less affected than other equestrian sports. Most people arrive at polocrosse on Friday evening and leave on Sunday afternoon, giving them a long rest period between driving shifts which can count as their weekly rest period. For example, if someone arrived at polocrosse at 8 pm on Friday and left again at 5pm on Sunday they would have had 45 hours of rest. In other sports where people drive on both Saturday and Sunday the problems are likely to be even greater.