European Commission is clarifying rules referred to the ban on rest time in the cabin

The European Commission has been informed on several occasions that, some national authorities were requiring drivers to provide evidence, such as hotel bills, to prove that they spent their regular weekly rest in adequate accommodation outside the vehicle.

In this context, the European Commission has published a new part of explanation regarding the regular weekly rest periods in the cabin of the vehicle, as laid down in Article 8 (8) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006. 

The applicable legislation of Regulation (EC) No 561/ 2006, Article 8 (8)

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.

What evidence should a driver present to a controller to prove that he/she has not spent the regular weekly rest in the truck but in a suitable accommodation?

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. Drivers or employers can only be fined for non-compliance with the prohibition of taking the regular weekly rest (or rest of more than 45 hours taken in compensation) in the vehicle when they/their drivers are caught having a regular weekly rest inside the vehicle at the time of the control.

Short reminder of recent contradictory practices on controls of the regular weekly rest time

Move Expert has been also informed numerous times by its clients that in some Member States, national authorities have required drivers to provide additional evidences for their activities outside the vehicle during roadside checks, such as hotel bills or other accommodation arrangement.

As in previously described article on this blog with a particular case of a control in Sweden regarding the ban of taking weekly rest time in the cabin, where the national authorities did not want to accept a private home as adequate and suitable accommodation and obliged the driver to provide the hotel bills on the road, the entire roadside check took place 3 days.

This story of a bad practice of road checks by some Member States illustrates how serious problem was and still is for transport undertakings.

That why, I am glad, on behalf of our transporters, and I hope that the following clarification of the current rules regarding the ban to take regular weekly rest in a vehicle, will help to carry out effective road checks.

Summary:

If they are an obligation of the driver to keep in the cabin hotel bills and provides to control officer?  

According 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

In this context, the European Commission clarify, that Article 36 of Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 [1] on recording equipment in road transport provides an exhaustive list of records to be produced by the driver on a request of control officer. [2]

These are: the records sheets (in case of analogue tachograph), any manual records and printouts and the driver card (in case of digital tachograph). When carrying out such checks, Member States’ authorities may not require documents other than those referred to in Article 36 of this Regulation.

[1]      Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on tachographs in road transport, repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 on recording equipment in road transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonization of certain social legislation relating to road transport

[2] https://truckmobility-info.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Note-Art-8.8-of-Reg-561.2006-.pdf 

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