The Dutch House of Representatives wants the government to take actions to improve safety at parking lots and calls for a ban on 45-hour rest in the truck cabin. The House received two applications regarding this case.
The House of Representatives, which is the lower house of the Netherlands parliament, accepted two requests on 5 December – one on improving safety at car parks in the country, and the second concerning the ban of spending 45-hour rest in the cabin of the truck.
The House of Representatives is the second institution, next to the government, with the right to take legislative initiatives. Typically, a bill initiated by the House of Representatives is prepared by the Legislative Office or specialists from particular departments.
The transport association Transport en Logistiek Nederland (TLN) expressed satisfaction with the response of the politicians to the acceptance of the request.
Carriers want to ban sleeping in the cabin
TLN is pleased that the House of Representatives recognises the need for a ban on spending 45-hour rest in the cabin. The association does not want „The Netherlands to be a parking lot of Europe.” The bordering countries, Belgium and Germany, have introduced similar provisions, so it is the Netherlands where the drivers leave for the week rest, if possible. Sleeping in the truck is prohibited also in France.
TLN calls the European Commission for including this issue in the Mobility Package. According to the association, 45-hour rest in the cabin should be possible only once every four weeks and the driver should spend it, as far as possible, on a guarded parking lot with facilities.
Dutch Transport Minister did not want the ban
Melanie Schultz von Haegen, the Dutch Transport Minister, in February this year declared that she would not introduce the ban on resting in the cabin. In her opinion such an initiative should come from the European Union.
EU regulations refer to this problem ambiguously, its solution should be same for all EU countries – announced Schultz von Haegen at the beginning of the year in a written response to a parliamentary question.
The minister argued that truck cabins are quite comfortable and properly furnished to sleep in them. The Minister also raised the issue of load safety. According to Schultz von Haegen, the driver spending the night in the vehicle does not need to worry about the cargo. Both the transported goods and the truck itself are not that safe when the driver spends the night in a hotel.
Ferenc Lajkó, the president of the Hungarian company Waberer’s, recently presented a similar opinion during a public hearing in the European Parliament. According to Lajkó, such prohibitions will not improve working conditions of drivers, only force them to leave the vehicle, which becomes their second home on the road. Lajkó also drew attention to the issue of safety of the vehicle itself, transported cargo, fuel and personal belongings of the driver.