Rest time in the cabin: What documents should a driver present during roadside checks
Commission’s recommendation + tips for controls
What about the applicable legislation - a short reminder?
In accordance with the Article 8 (8) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 clarifying that regular weekly rests of at least 45 hours must be taken in suitable gender-friendly accommodation with adequate sleeping and sanitary facilities, they cannot be taken in the cabin of the vehicle.
In view of these circumstances, Accordingly, to the Article 34(3) of Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 specifies that Member States shall not impose on drivers a requirement to present any forms attesting for drivers’ activities away from the vehicle. This covers also a situation of taking a regular weekly rest outside the vehicle. Thus, enforcers cannot require from drivers’ documents proving that their regular weekly rest preceding the roadside inspection was not spent in the vehicle. 1
What document should a driver present to a controller to prove that he has not spent the regular weekly rest time in the cabin?
The European Commission clarify rules referred to the ban on resting time in the cabin, in published on the DG Mobility website a first series document of Questions and Answers, on implementation of the Mobility Package.
Drivers or employers can only be fined for non-compliance with these rules, when their drivers are caught having a regular weekly rest inside the truck, at the time of the control
Is there an obligation for the driver to keep in the cabin invoices for hotels controlling the previous rests outside the cabin?
The authorities cannot require drivers’ documents proving that their regular weekly rest time preceding the roadside inspection was not spent in the truck.
To sum up, regarding the EC’s explanations, drivers can only be fined for non-compliance if they are caught having a regular weekly rest inside the truck at the time of the control.
How it is looks like in practice today?
The foreign authority as “gendarmerie/police” in general rules does not know about the Commission recommendations. The labor inspection knows more about changes related to the new obligations on driving and rest time, but admits that the EC recommendations have not been presented to them as guidelines for application, so they “control in their own way “, this means that the inspection body organ wants to fine drivers and carriers for something that is not required.
As a result of our experience as a representative, and for now as a mediator between our client and foreign authority, we can observe some recurring questions that are asked when the foreign authority interview a driver following a roadside check. They don’t ask about the document attesting their drivers’ activities away from vehicle, but other questions:
The foreign authority interviews a driver with some requiring questions:
- Where did you sleep last night? Did you spend your weekly rest time in truck?
- Where did you spend your last hours?
In order to verify this obligation, the authority is checking in the meantime the tachograph data, gps of the vehicle and CMR letters and on the basis of these documents, they determine whether the driver spent the last hours in the truck or not, whether the truck was moving or not, whether it was in the parking lot?
Checks, which are not the most pleasant and stressful for transporters, but especially for their drivers… So, what tips for control?
Many carriers and drivers are unprotected in these situations, because the new posting rules for the posting of drivers, the obligation to have a representative in the country to which the driver is posted has been removed.
During an interview with driver controlled on the road, it is crucial to have a phone number to the company or to the support assistance, to explain the situation about their internal organization of work and also many other requirements.
It is very important that in the case of a road checks, the company keep evidence attesting that accommodation was organized and covered by the employer and can provide in due time the following evidence, for instance, hotel bills, motel rental apartment or a private home.
Extremely important point is that drivers and carriers need to have full knowledge of the new restrictions resulting from the Mobility Package, for instance this obligation of taking weekly rest time of more than 45 hours outside truck, due to the fact that road checks on transport companies for compliance are extended.