The European Parliament has given the green light to the long-awaited reform of international road transport. There will be strict rules against social dumping in that industry. Drivers can no longer be exploited and receive better salaries and normal working conditions.
“Drivers can finally count on decent working conditions,” says Dutch MEP Vera Tax (PvdA), who negotiated on behalf of the European Social Democratic Group. "We are putting an end to unfair competition so that drivers can be colleagues again."
Normal weekend rest should be possible for drivers to spend at home or in a decent hotel. Living and sleeping in the cab of a truck for several consecutive times is now prohibited, ”says Tax. Transport companies should plan the journeys so that international freight drivers can return home regularly (every three or four weeks, depending on the work schedule). If the rest period does not take place at home, the company must pay the accommodation.
Vehicle tachographs will be used to record all border crossings to tackle fraud. To avoid systematic cabotage, a four-day cool-down period must be adhered to before subsequent cabotage operations can be performed in the same country with the same vehicle.
“The time when transport costs are being pushed further by drivers and SMEs should now be over. This mobility package is a crucial step forward towards a more humane transport sector, ”says Vera Tax.
In order to take action against letterbox companies, road hauliers must be able to demonstrate that they are mainly active in the country where they are registered. The new rules also require trucks to return to their company's operations center every eight weeks. The use of small vans from 2.5 tons will now also be subject to EU road transport regulations, so these vehicles must also be equipped with a tachograph.
The new European rules also provide more, better and safe parking spaces with gender-friendly sanitary facilities and good lighting in every parking lot. The European Commission will make money available for this. The EU countries will have to introduce the new rules within a year and a half, but driving and rest times will start in three weeks.