Back in August 2020, driving and rest time rules adopted under the Mobility Package started to apply – the legal provisions, officially known as Regulation 1054/2020, were tasked with the ambitious policy objective of fostering improvement in drivers’ working conditions, fair competition and road safety. Now, the European Commission has taken a step further in this direction with their recently published legal guide which sets out to fulfil these goals and ensure the controlled and consistent application of the rules throughout the EU.
The ETF welcomes the legal guide, presented in Q&A format, on driving and rest time rules and applauds the European Commission’s stance in favour of the improvement of working conditions in the sector, fair competition between operators and road safety for all road users. A position clearly demonstrated throughout the answers on crucial questions such as the driver’s return home, the use of ferry derogation in association with weekly rest periods, the exceptional circumstances in which drivers are allowed to exceed driving time limits.
The guide is also a positive development towards road safety as well-rested drivers will majorly contribute to this goal. ETF’s currently running, massive study on driver fatigue lifted the veil on this chronic disease in road transport with irrefutable facts, figures and testimonials of over 2,800 drivers. Interpretation, and strict enforcement of driving and rest time rules as put forward by the legal guide, are all part of the cure.
In this vein, the guidance successfully leaves no doubt – employers who thought that abandoning drivers in forests or on motorways or asking them to drop by company headquarters to “clock in” for the start of their rest period will have to think again – it just won’t do! Drivers will have to return either home or to the company’s operational base, where they can start their rest. In parallel, their operators will have to prove that they actively and effectively organised their employee’s work in a way that allows this return.
The guidance embodies significant progress towards ensuring driving and rest time regulation Still; the ETF will be keeping a close eye on employers to assess the implementation of rules, and produce facts and figures in our usual way – drivers can count on it!
The legal guide is available on the European Commission’s website: here.