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2017.07.13 Piotr Pietrasina

45-hour rest in cabs – mass inspections in Belgium

The inspections involved, in particular, taking regular weekly rest (of more than 45 hours) in vehicle cabs. According to Regulation 561/2006 Art. 8 subpar. 8, the driver can not have such rests in the cab of the vehicle.
120 trucks were checked. In 46 vehicles the inspection detected irregularities and imposed high fines in the total amount of 113.000 EUR. It was the infringement of the regulation concerning weekly regular rest in the vehicle cab that was the reason for most of the penal sanction decisions. The checks also revealed several AdBlue system manipulations. Other detected infringements involved exceeding working time.
INELO expert, Mateusz Włoch, comments:
The European Commission has recently announced a clarification of the regulations and has taken a definite position stating that the driver cannot take rest of more than 45 hours in the vehicle cab. The planned regulation changes are intended to allow easier check of this infringement. Just a few days after the presentation of this position we can see the first results.

Inspection authorities surprised drivers, because, although there were previous information about penalties for weekly rests in Belgium, these were rather isolated cases.

Weekly rest in the cab of the vehicle is illegal since 2006 – as is apparent from Article 8 of Regulation 561. However, until 2015 virtually no country enforced these regulations. Currently, examples of checks for this infringement can be found in Belgium and France. Interestingly, the driver does not have to carry with him or her any confirmation that he or she slept outside the cab, so the penalty is imposed only for infringements detected „on spot.” So far the regulation has been a dead letter so, for a long time, the transport companies did not respect these regulations and did not take them into account when planning routes.

During trainings we try to communicate how to properly plan a driver’s work. It turns out that with a few simple rules it is possible to plan work in such a way that the driver does not have to take 45 hours rest period during a three-week tour’ Mateusz Włoch says.

It is worth noting that after Belgium and France, another country is already in the last stage of introducing penalties for weekly rest in the cab. This country is Germany. Our neighbours have already passed a law that allows imposing sanctions for this infringement. Currently, work is underway to introduce appropriate penalties in the tariff and determine how to inspect it. The first proposals for penalties are EUR 500 for the driver and EUR 1500 for the company.

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