Drivers’ hours – changes in Luxembourg and Norway, extension of relaxation in Ireland
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There is a change in the rules of drivers’ hours’ regulations and their loosening almost every day in the European Union. This time Luxembourg introduced some modifications of the relaxation, while Norway and Ireland decided to loosen the regulations. Authorities in Belarus, due to the coronavirus pandemic, will increase the control of foreign drivers passing through the country in transit.
On 15 April, as reported by the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the Irish Ministry of Transport decided to relax the regulations of the driving and rest times for the next six weeks (from 17 April to 31 May). It applies to all types of transportations.
The relaxed provisions of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 include:
Article 6.3 : extension of the two-week driving period from 90 to 112 hours.
Article 8.4 : the option of taking 5 shortened daily rest periods (instead of the regular 3) between two weekly rest periods; if the driver receives five shortened daily rests within the first five days after the weekly rest period, then continues driving on the sixth day, then his daily registration may not exceed thirteen hours (for the sixth day).
Article 8.6 : no compensation is required if the weekly rest period is reduced. Within two consecutive weeks, drivers must receive at least two regular weekly rest periods or one regular weekly rest period and one reduced weekly rest period of at least 24 hours. At the same time, the weekly rest period must start no later than six 24-hour periods from the end of the previous weekly rest period.
Article 8.8 : the possibility of receiving a regular weekly rest in the vehicle, provided that the vehicle is adapted and parked.
Also on 15 April, Norway introduced the relaxation of drivers’ hours’ regulations. It applies to freight transport and will be in force until 13 May – reports the IRU.
Under the new rules:
– the daily driving time is extended from 9 to 11 hours,
– the maximum weekly working time has been extended from 56 to 58 hours,
– the maximum two-week driving limit has been increased from 90 to 96 hours,
– the driver can shorten the daily rest from 11 to 9 hours,
– a weekly rest of at least 24 hours must be followed by a weekly rest of 45 hours, which means that reduced weekly rest is allowed every other week. However, the reduced weekly rest period does not have to be compensated.
From 18 April to 31 May, Luxembourg has relaxed some of the drivers’ hours’ regulations. These parts of the Regulation (EC) 561/2006 are relaxed:
Article 6.1 – extension of the maximum daily driving time from 9 hours to 11 hours , not more than three times a week,
Article 6.3 – extension of the two-week driving time from 90 to 96 hours,
Article 8.6 – the option of postponing the weekly rest period. Instead of 6 days from the end of the last weekly rest, the driver will be able to pick it up after 7 days (with the obligation to pay the next week)
Article 8.8 – the option of receiving a regular weekly rest in the vehicle, provided that the vehicle is adapted and parked.
Belarus has increased the control of drivers in transit
The Belarusian authorities have decided to increase the control of foreign drivers in transit traffic. The transport inspection authority together with the traffic officers will check compliance with safety rules and check if drivers are using the designated rules.
All drivers, including those entering Belarus from Russia, European Union Member States and Ukraine, are obliged to travel on designated roads. You can stop for a rest or refuel only at designated parking lots and fuel stations. Drivers may not leave these routes.
Also, drivers must leave the territory of Belarus by the shortest route no later than the day following the day of entry. An exception is a road accident or vehicle failure, as well as loading and unloading, which must take place following the dates indicated in the transport documentation. Also, drivers must have hygiene equipment in the cab – masks, gloves, disinfectant, etc. Leaving the vehicle without gloves or masks is prohibited.
Current map of roads and parking places that drivers can use: