No sleeping in cabs
Measures have been introduced in France to stop drivers from taking breaks in their cabs. The French law which seeks to combat “social dumping and unfair social competition” was published in the Journal Officiel de la Republique Francaise in July this year.
The legislation also establishes the principle of “joint and several responsibility” making it possible to bring action against a contractor relating to a sub-contractor. This has all come about as a result of the stringent interpretation of Regulation 561/2006, which prohibits commercial truck drivers from spending regular weekly rest time in their vehicle cabin.
Truck operators argue that the change will adversely impact on competition and vehicle security saying that the legislators have failed to appreciate how the road haulage sector works in coping with daily uncertainties such as customers’ premises not being open to take deliveries, mechanical breakdowns, traffic jams and road diversions. These combined with long journeys make it difficult and in some cases not feasible for drivers to take a rest period away from their vehicle.
Due to the lack of secure parking facilities at hotels, particularly for trucks, a driver might have to travel some distance to find accommodation. The reasons that drivers sleep in their trucks relate partially to cost savings, but they do also include the need to ensure the security of the vehicle, fuel and load.
CLECAT, the body that represents freight forwarders at EU level, has been in contact with DG-Move about these recent initiatives, arguing that the member states are using enforcement to protect their national road sector. Also in view of the offense committed, the French fine is not proportionate.
Souce: BIFAlink Issue 288
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