On 30 April 2018, the Italian Ministry of the Interior issued a circular, which gives the enforcement authorities the option of imposing penalties for taking regular weekly rests (45 hours) in the cabin of the vehicle. The new Italian guidelines follow the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which explains how the provisions in this regard should be interpreted.
We informed about the judgment in more detail here:
What are the anticipated penalties?
The guidelines do not introduce additional penalties, but only explain that the regular weekly rest taken in the cabin can be treated as not taking the rest. This, in turn, may lead to sanctions of up to EUR 1700 and the need to take full weekly rest outside the vehicle cabin.
Enforcement of the ban in EU countries
According to art. 8 subpar. 8 of regulation 561/2006:
“Where a driver chooses to do this, daily rest periods and reduced weekly rest periods away from base may be taken in a vehicle, as long as it has suitable sleeping facilities for each driver and the vehicle is stationary.”
The quoted article specifies the rests taken in the vehicle are allowed. Regular weekly rest period is not among them. Thus, taking it in the vehicle cabin is prohibited in all EU countries. In European legislation such a ban already exists since 1985 (see Article 8 subpar. 7 of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 3820/85 of 20 December 1985). So far, however, due to different interpretations of the above provisions, few countries have enforced it.
The situation changed after the CJEU judgment of 20 December 2017. (case C102/16). Currently, Member States are required to control and impose penalties for taking weekly rest periods in the cabin of the vehicle. The sanctions have already been officially introduced by Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. Another country that plans to start enforcing the ban in the near future is Spain.