Border crossing registering creates life-threatening situations, lorry driver says

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A Dutch trucker has claimed that “life-threatening" situations are occuring at borders due to HGV drivers suddenly stopping on the hard shoulder to record their border crossing via tachograph - a requirement introduced as part of the EU Mobility Package.

Border crossing registering creates life-threatening situations, lorry driver says
Photo credits @ ILT

The latest EU regulation requires drivers to record their border crossings manually as close to the crossing as possible. To obey this rule, some truckers are reportedly stopping their vehicles on the hard shoulder to adjust their tachograph.

Dutch driver Roy Janssen told Dutch website 1Limburg that he was afraid that accidents would happen:

“To set the tachograph, many colleagues on the motorway suddenly brake and stop on the hard shoulder. This causes life-threatening situations,” claims the lorry driver.

According to the article, the police are aware of the problem, but will not enforce the rule because it is hard to catch a lorry driver who only stops for a minute.

Janssen thinks some drivers decide to stop right after the border because they are afraid of being fined. While the regulation is not phrased clearly, it doesn’t state drivers should stop immediately after crossing the border. Rather, it should happen “as soon as possible”.

Many transportation organisations have already criticised the law for being unclear, unsafe and environmentally harmful.

The “pragmatic” Dutch approach, a 3-month grace period in Denmark and fines of up to 250 euros in Germany

The Dutch road transport inspectorate (ILT) has said it will adopt a “pragmatic” approach regarding the new tachograph rules.

The pragmatic attitude of officers does not, however, mean that breaches will go unpunished.

“We believe it is important that road safety is guaranteed and that congestion at border car parks is prevented. But if an inspector finds that a truck driver in the Netherlands has had the opportunity to enter the country code and has not done so, the inspector will take enforcement action,” the ILT explained.

The Danish Transport Authority  also announced at the beginning of February that it wouldn’t issue any fines for violations of the new Mobility Package rules for a 3 month period. It claims the new rules lack clarity, and as a result, it hasn’t been possible to advise hauliers about the changes.

Meanwhile, in Germany, it appears that the BAG, who police road transport in the country, may follow the lead of the Danes by not fining or punishing breaches of the rules for a temporary period. However, once this time has finished, drivers could be fined up to €250 for failing to register border crossings on their tachograph.

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