Ban on rest in the cabin

Ban on rest in the cabin – no changes so far, but the EC will soon clarify the European rules on this obligation.

In connection with numerous complaints about the bad enforcement practices of the mentioned ban that the inspectors carry out inspections in the incorrect right way especially in France and Sweden. There are and were many cases of illegal practices of control, where some national authorities during roadside checks were requiring drivers to provide evidence, such a hotel bills, to prove that they spent their regular weekly rest periods in safe and adequate accommodation outside the cabin.

In fact, drivers controlled on the road, are pushing to present and kept inside cabin the additional documents as hotel invoices, other bills or documents attesting that they spent their regular weekly rest periods, outside the vehicle for many previous days.

During road checks, the drivers were and still are stopped for many hours, sometimes even up to 24 or 36 hours in these Member States, penalizing for this drivers and companies for not having such documents during roadside checks. Per consequent, control officers are penalizing at the roadside control, without checking all necessary data.

As I previously discussed on this blog, in an article on weekly rest time in France  published on 03 February 2022 and in an article on roadside checks in Sweden  published on 19 September  2022.

In this context, the contradictory examples of roadside inspection practice in France and Sweden, which forced the European Commission to prepare guidelines, are addressed to all Member States, containing criteria for control and prohibition of rest in the cab and verification of compliance with the provisions of European Regulation 561/2006 on driving time and rest time.

Currently, the EC is studying in more in details smart and proper enforcement of the measures prohibiting drivers from spending regular weekly rest time in the vehicle, as laid down in Article 8 (8) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006.

Mentioned guidelines included in the note, which has not yet been published today as on 03 mars 2023 by the European Commission, provides among other things, the exhaustive list of documents that the driver must present on a request of the control officer. These are the records sheets, the driver card if one is held,  any manual records and printouts.  Whenever an authorised control officer performing checks at the roadside, drivers must produce their driver card, the record sheets for the current day and the previous 28 days. These data must cover all drivers activities (e.g. driving, other work) and inactivity periods also ( e.g. availability, breaks and rest periods).

According to the guidelines, control officers may control compliance with Article 8 (8) of Regulation (EC) no 561 / 2005 for the rest taken in the preceding 28 days and / or in another Member States.

Thus, inspectors cannot penalize drivers and companies for not having such documents during roadside checks.  

This note and guidelines will soon be published on the official website of the European Commission so stay tuned.

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