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Two Spanish truckers paid high fines for infringements related to working and rest time.

The police stopped a Spanish truck that exceeded the speed limit at the exit of the German A9 motorway near the city of Berg. During a routine check, officers found irregularities in the working and resting times of both drivers who were doubly manned, according to the German regional daily “Nordbayerischer Kurier”.

It turned out, among other things, that one of the drivers, instead of taking the prescribed 45-hour regular rest, had only a 12-hour break. Both Spanish drivers were fined up to €1,500 for offences (including speeding over 24 km/h). A case was also opened against both the truckers and the carrier in respect of which a fine might be imposed. The employer, as we read in the newspaper, will have to reach even deeper into his pocket.

We asked the Bavarian police to explain how this amount of fines came from.

The work of professional drivers, in particular the so-called driving and rest periods, is uniformly regulated in the EU. However, the amount of the fine varies from country to country. (…) These provisions provide for a so-called regular weekly rest period which must be spen away from the vehicle after 6 days of driving. It should essentially last 45 hours,” explains in an e-mail to Trans.INFO Marcus Parczanny, Chief Police Commissioner of the Hof in Bavaria.

Parczanny also stresses that in double manning one driver cannot rest during the driving period of another driver.

“If the weekly rest period is reduced to 24 hours, it must be compensated for within the next two weeks,” explains the Chief Police Commissioner.

If the vehicle is in motion during the rest period or the shortening (of rest – editorial note) has not been compensated for, the Fines Catalogue provides for a fine of EUR 30 for each reduced hour in the event of a reduction in the rest period by more than 9 hours,” says Parczanny.

The Commissioner adds that the fine for the company is significantly higher.

Spanish drivers were therefore punished for having reduced their rest periods by 33 hours with fines of EUR 990.In addition, the daily working time records were also repeatedly abandoned – hence the amount increased to EUR 1,500.

For almost two years now, we have seen a significant increase in the number of truck and bus inspections in Germany. Statistic data collected by the BAG inspection body and the German police in 2018 compared to 2017 indicate an increase in the number of inspections by about 50%, while maintaining an increasing trend,” comments Paul Reich, a junior lawyer from Translawyers Widuch i Wspólnicy sp. k.

According to Reich, the most common reasons for the imposition of penalties by officers on carriers include exceeding the driver’s working time, exceeding the permissible speed and load capacity, lack of documentation, inadequate cargo securing and violation of cabotage rules.

During a recent inspection by six teams of the BAG inspection body and the German police, 53 drivers were inspected, 3 of whom took a 45-hour break. In Aachen 25 drivers were checked and 6 of them were found guilty of an offence,” adds the lawyer.

A security deposit (Sicherheitsleistung in German) was collected in the above cases on account of an administrative fine/penalty. According to the German Fines Catalogue (Bussgeldkatalog), the maximum fines for regular weekly rest periods in the vehicle cab are €500 for the driver and €1,500 for the company.

Most drivers are aware of the Germanban on 45-hour rest in the vehicle cab. As a result, some drivers park in Austria or Switzerland, for example. In these countries, bans are also in place, but inspections are very rare,” notes Reich.

Photo: Polizei Bayern

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