Belgian, Dutch, French and German traffic police forces carried out a joint roadside operation in the outskirts of Brussels on 15 October. The roadside check was part of a Europe-wide enforcement action, organised by the European Roads Policing Network, ROADPOL.
The joint inspections focused in particular on drivers of Heavy Duty Vehicles and their compliance with the driving, rest time and tachograph rules that were recently modernised with the adoption of Mobility Package 1. The compliance checks are crucial to ensure that drivers can enjoy their social protection rights under EU rules, that operators compete on an equal footing, and road safety risks are removed. Delegations from the European Commission, the Belgian Ministry of Home Affairs and the European Labour Authority joined the inspections.
Deputy Director-General for Mobility and Transport within the European Commission and European Coordinator for Road Safety, Matthew Baldwin, said: “The European Commission is committed to improving drivers’ working conditions as well as the effectiveness and consistency of road transport rules enforcement throughout the EU. This is about fairness, but it is also about road safety. Driver fatigue is a social issue but it is also a killer. Today we had the chance to speak both to drivers and the police to discuss the challenges. If the rules are respected and enforced where necessary, that helps ensure a level playing field in this competitive sector – and will improve road safety for all road users.”
Director for Land Transport Kristian Schmidt, European Commission, said: “Lorry drivers are vitally important for everyone’s everyday life. They keep our European Single Market intact and shops stocked across the continent. With Mobility Package 1, we have strengthened drivers’ rights and enforcement plays a key role in ensuring working conditions improve in practice. The upcoming new version of the smart tachograph will make checks easier, quicker and better targeted.”
The European Commission is working on new enforcement tools and systems to render inspections more effective, risk-based and less burdensome. For example it recently adopted the technical specifications for a new version of the smart tachograph, with additional functionalities that will help to check compliance not only with the rules on driving and rest times, but also with the new rules on cabotage and the posting of drivers, as introduced by Mobility Package 1. The Commission is also working on harmonising risk ratings for road transport companies. Roadside inspectors would have access to the rating so that they can better target those at higher risk of non-compliance
The European labour Authority (ELA) plays an important role, supporting Member State authorities organising joint inspections to check that EU rules on labour mobility in road sector are being respected. It is up to Member States to make best possible use of ELA’s support.
Today’s inspections were part of the Europe-wide ROADPOL ‘Truck&Bus Operation’. Between 11 and 17 October, traffic police forces across the continent are carrying out additional inspections to detect violations such as overloading, excessive driving times, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or serious technical defects.
Mobility Package 1 is in force and the social provisions on driving times and rest conditions of drivers have applied since 20 August 2020. The package introduces significant social improvements for lorry drivers, and it provides for the more effective, efficient and consistent enforcement of these rules.
To further improve road safety, the EU set a new target in the EU road safety policy framework 2021-2030 to cut deaths by 50% by 2030 and, for the first time, serious injuries as well. The framework also reiterates the Commission’s ambition to reach zero road deaths by 2050 ('Vision Zero'), by implementing a ‘Safe System’ in the EU. This requires safer vehicles, safer infrastructure, better use of protective equipment, lower speeds and better post-crash care. In addition, the EU is working to ensure better cross-border enforcement of traffic offence rules, the digitalisation of driving licences and new ways to help Member States with comparatively poor road safety records.
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- 15 Oktober 2021
- Generaldirektoratet for Mobilitet og Transport