Truck cabin camping, spending 45 hours of rest (or longer) in the cabin, is banned by the European Parliament, even if it happens in a secure parking place. That is one of the results of the vote that the EP held on Thursday about the Mobility Package.
“We can see that the European Parliament understands some aspects that have helped the market, but limits the necessary flexibility to others”
Norbert Hofer, Austrian Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology, President-in-Office of the Council ”A crucial element of better enforcement is reliable registration of when and where lorries have crossed the border and reliable location of loading and unloading activities. The second generation of smart tachographs will do all this automatically. All vehicles used for international transport must be equipped with the new tachograph by the end of 2024.
The rules for cabotage (domestic transport in one EU Member State by a carrier from another EU Member State) are not further liberalised by the European Parliament. With a maximum of 3 days of carrying out cabotage journeys and then a cooling off period of 60 hours, the cabotage regime will not be thrown open anyway.
Unfortunately, the European Parliament wants to oblige trucks to return to the country of residence once every four weeks. This may result in more empty journeys and is also an extra limitation of flexibility for the sector.
The European Parliament has decided to make an exception to the rules for posting (when a foreign driver receives the same wage as drivers in the country in which he carries out freight transport) for transport between his own country and another country (bilateral transport). The so-called transit traffic, only transport through a Member State, is also exempt from posting. For cabotage, the posting directive applies from day one. This does not bother a large part of the transport with unnecessary administrative burdens and tackles direct competition with national transport.
We regret that the proposal by MEP Wim van de Camp has not been accepted. This proposal to make an exception for enjoying 45 hours of rest in the cabin on a secure parking lot with good facilities has not been accepted. The final outcome, a total ban on spending the 45 hours of rest in the cabin, is a serious limitation of flexibility for the sector and a major practical problem. It is very unfortunate that the European Parliament did not take this into account and did not listen to transport operators.
We also think it is a good thing that the obligatory return home of the driver has gone from 3 to 4 weeks. There is also more flexibility for spending the reduced weekly rest on the ferry or train. In addition, there will be a possibility for drivers who are almost home at the end of their driving time – after a break of 30 minutes – to exceed the driving time, stating the reason why this is necessary.
Whether these proposals will actually become legislation will become clear after negotiations with the European Council have started. Thursday vote is just before the European Parliament goes into recess because of the upcoming elections. The negotiations will, therefore, most likely only start in September.
In the mobility package we have among other;
- For around 3.6 million truck drivers, the principle “equal pay for equal work in the same place” is to be implemented.
- The posting right should apply from the first day of a foreign assignment, except that the journey begins and ends in the home country.
- The driver has to return home at least every four weeks, and the regular weekly rest may not be spent in the driver’s cab.
- Cabotage trips should only be possible on three days, then the vehicle must return to the company location for at least 60 hours.
- The introduction and retrofitting of digital tachograph are clearly preferred.
- Small vans over 2.5 tonnes are subject to the same regulations as large trucks.