“Long-haul drivers are no longer allowed to sleep in the truck” was the title of some of the media reports on the Mobility Package. Others already drew horror scenarios for hotel parking lots parked in trucks in city centres and residential areas. All statements have in common that they are not correct, but at least they have been generalized and taken out of context.
What is really changing regarding the rest time in the cab?
Not much at all. As the ECJ has confirmed in case C-102/16, the “regular weekly rest period of 45 hours” is already prohibited under the current EU regulation 561/2006.
So far, it is only permitted to spend the daily rest period and the reduced weekly rest period in the vehicle if the vehicle has suitable sleeping facilities for every driver and does not drive. Since the resulting conclusion, namely that the regular weekly rest period should not be spent in the vehicle, did not want to be recognized by every member state before the ECJ ruling, the text has now been revised and is now as follows:
Article 8 paragraph 8 of Regulation (EC) 561/2006:
The regular weekly rest periods and each weekly rest period of more than 45 hours, which is taken as compensation for the previous reduced weekly rest period, may not be spent in one vehicle. They must be accommodated in suitable gender-appropriate accommodation with adequate sleeping facilities and sanitary facilities. All costs for accommodation outside the vehicle are borne by the employer.
It has thus been clearly expressed what is allowed and what is not allowed. This is definitely the better option. The new text also clearly shows which rest periods are affected by this ban. In addition, the weekly rest period of more than 45 hours, which was extended to compensate for an earlier reduction, has now been included in the ban.
From the earlier version of the paragraph simply ignore these subtleties. Unfortunately, such incorrect or at least incomplete information spreads rapidly. In the past few days, this has been reported and discussed in all the forums of a well-known social network.
As often mentioned, legal regulations should be reproduced as far as possible in the original text to avoid misinterpretations. In any case, an editor is also responsible for the correct presentation of new regulations. However, it was also striking in connection with the Mobility Package that all the media felt they were called to report on it. This includes many media that generally have nothing to do with the subject from a technical point of view. This is also reflected in the quality of the reporting.