The European Parliament approves an overhaul of the rules on road transport

On 4 April 2019, the European Parliament approved its position on rules for posting of drivers (317 votes in favour, 302 against, and 14 abstentions), drivers’ rest times (394 votes in favour, 236 against, and 5 abstentions) and better enforcement of cabotage rules (371 votes in favour, 251 against, and 13 abstentions).

According to the Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, they are “… important legislative reforms for the road sector, which are part of the EU Mobility Package… [which] are essential in order to improve working conditions, reduce administrative burden and to achieve a genuine level playing field for hauliers…”.

The first group of rules aims at supporting posted workers in the transport sector, preventing red tape caused by differing national approaches and ensuring fair remuneration for drivers. Therefore, they should be applied to cabotage and cross-border transport operations, excluding transit, bilateral operations and bilateral operations with one extra loading or unloading in each direction.

The second group demands companies to organise their timetables so that drivers are able to return home at regular intervals (at least every 4 weeks) to help ensure better rest conditions for them.

Finally, the existing restriction on the number of cabotage operations should be replaced with a 3 days time limit in order to detect when rules are being breached by road hauliers. The registration of border-crossings through vehicle tachographs would be introduced and,to prevent the so-called “systematic cabotage”, there should also be a “cooling-off period” of 60 hours for vehicles to be spent in the home-country before heading for another cabotage.

Sara Capruzzi