Roadside checks often mean a lot of stress for the person who experiences this unpleasant situation. This stress can be reduced in several ways – one of them is to prepare well for a possible meeting with the services. Discussing 5 aspects most often checked by the services inspecting professional drivers will surely help here.

1. Employment certificate for foreigners

Foreigners from outside the European Union are required to carry with them a document confirming that they are legally staying in the EU and meet the requirements for professional drivers. These requirements shall be checked by the office of the host country of the driver.

The rules of hiring foreigners are worth consulting with specialists, as lack of certificate results in a severe financial penalty. However, the most severe sanction that a company may face is withholding the possibility of obtaining further certificates for new employees. As a consequence, a roadside check that detects the absence of legal confirmation of the residence of a foreigner from outside the Community may significantly hinder the operation of the company.

2. Transport documents

The pressure of the inspection services, triggered by the efforts of trade union organisations in Europe to ensure that cabotage operations are carried out correctly, is another important element encountered during roadside inspections.

It should be taken into account that the number of cabotage operations is limited in quantity and time and, in principle, serves to optimise empty journeys. Inspectors shall pay particular attention to whether the cabotage in question is part of the journey towards the next order or whether it takes orders away from local carriers. 

3. Driver’s working time

This point is an essential part of almost every check. For professional drivers who register their work with the tachograph, the verification of the driver’s activities by the services is an uncomplicated process. It does not matter whether the vehicle is equipped with an analogue or digital device or whether the latest model of a smart tachograph is installed in it. Why is working time so important to the inspector? Because a tired driver is a danger both to himself and to other traffic participants. The aim of the check is therefore to discipline transport operators and drivers with regard to the applicable rules. 

The period under inspection covers the current day and 28 days back. All driver’s activities are taken into account, in particular the pattern of resting times, their correct reception and the amount of work. Interestingly, due to the need for even greater supervision of the working time of drivers, the period under inspection is to be extended from 28 to several dozen days. Therefore, the company should put emphasis on the complete elimination of traffic violations, as even a single incident can be punished even after many days from its occurrence. 

4. On-time tachograph readings

The tools available on the market (e.g. TachoDroid) allow for comfortable, remote reading of data, even when the driver is several hundred kilometers from the company headquarters. It would therefore appear that this obligation is no longer a problem for carriers. Unfortunately, this is not the case in practice. There are still companies that do not get data from both the driver card and the tachograph. The inspectors really pay attention to this – the services check very carefully whether the readings are done regularly. It should also be kept in mind that the latest SMART devices, thanks to radio communication, are able to inform the nearest road patrol about irregularities in recordings (non-reading, working time violation or other errors). 

5. Technical condition of the vehicle and load securing

Unfortunately, taking care of the load and the condition of the vehicle is still a problem for transport companies. The most common problems in this field are deficiencies in the mandatory equipment of the vehicle, as well as the lack of sufficient securing of transported goods. In order to address these problems, modern technology supports companies and their employees with various self-diagnostic systems. Don’t forget, however, that it is still the driver who is responsible for any shortcomings or failures.

Poor technical condition of the vehicle or lack of equipment may lead to the inability to continue the journey. Both the driver and the carrier can be responsible in this regard. With this responsibility in mind, we have developed a special document for our clients who use our records services. This checklist contains the most important items of equipment as well as documentation that should be carried by the employee. The list is signed by both the driver and the company representative.

Roadside check without consequences? It’s possible

The list of consequences resulting from roadside checks is long. Some violations result in financial penalties and others even in the withdrawal of the licence. This is why caution is the greatest weapon of every carrier and driver.

Knowledge should be obtained from proven sources, and advice given by unfamiliar parties should be questioned and scrupulously verified. As for the situations encountered on the road and the elimination of unpleasant consequences, it is worth noting the offers of legal assistance for express intervention during roadside checks.

Photo: ITD

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