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Exceeding driving time and shortening rest periods is, according to the Austrian Vida trade union, a fairly frequent and dangerous practice among drivers. One of the trade unionists suggested how to deal with such offenses in an interview for ORF television.

In the last three years, the police in Salzburg have detected more than 4,5 thousand offenses related to work and rest time. Drivers regularly interrupt breaks – the Salzburg police are alarming. In recent days, officers caught a driver who spent 49 hours on the road, taking only one less than a three-hour break. Another example from a week ago is a trucker who worked 36 hours without any pause.

– The reason for such behavior is often constant pressure of time – said in an interview for ORF Kajetan Uriach from the trade union of Vida transport workers.

The biggest problem from our point of view is that truck drivers are not subject to a collective agreement, and solutions that provide a salary based on the kilometers traveled. Then, of course, the trucker himself has an interest in driving as much as possible, because thanks to this he will get a higher payout. This, in my opinion, lies at the basis of their improper decisions (about interrupting the pause – editorial note) – he criticizes the Uriach.

An idea for penalties for non-compliance with working and rest time

Kajetan Uriach stresses that it is necessary to intensify roadside inspections in terms of compliance with the rules governing working and rest time. Intensified actions have already been announced by the head of the Salzburg traffic police.

According to the trade union, however, the current sanctions for these offenses are ineffective. Uriach proposes to impose „time penalties” instead of fines.

It would mean that the truck, which has traveled 49 hours, will have to pause with the cargo for a week” – explains Uriach.

A similar position was presented by Maximilian Gruber, head of transport of the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce.

The police have partially bound hands. More support would be needed to tighten controls and penalties. In the case of such offenses, you should confiscate licence plates and set aside the vehicle so that the driver cannot continue the route” – said Gruber.

Do you think that such a solution would help to overcome offenses related to work and rest time, or on the contrary – it will  increase their number?



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