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The Mobility Package raises a lot of controversies and has its supporters as well as opponents. For drivers, changes in regulations are an opportunity for much better working conditions. Carriers are not happy with the new regulations, as they entail new costs for them. However, both parties need to comply, as the Mobility Package was published last Friday. The first changes will be applied in just over two weeks and concern rest.

The first changes related to the Mobility Package will take effect as early as 20 August 2020. Carriers will then have to face new rules on obligatory rest. The driver’s work must be planned in such a way that he can rest outside the cab, in conditions allowing for regeneration, after which he will start his next journey without causing any danger.

The European Commission, which proposed the above amendments to international transport law, aimed at improving road safety, protecting drivers’ working conditions and preventing distortion of competition resulting from non-compliance.

New regulations concerning rest

From 20 August, drivers will have to spend a rest period of more than 45 hours outside the cabin. The carrier will be obliged to provide the driver with adequate accommodation with sanitary facilities and to cover the related costs. The place where the driver will take a rest may be adjacent to the parking lot.

The rules for taking weekly reduced rest periods have also been tightened. As from 20 August, a driver who takes two reduced weekly rest periods in a row will afterwards be entitled to a regular weekly rest with appropriate compensation. This means that the driver must take the remainder of the reduced weekly rest period in one go. The compensation is to be taken before the end of the third working week immediately following that in which the reduced weekly rest period took place.

The carrier must organise the work in such a way that the driver can easily return to the base in order to take the necessary rest. It will be mandatory to document such a return. This can be evidenced by the recording of tachographs, driver duty rosters or other documents. Access to them may be requested by the inspection authorities.

Driving time may be exceeded by two hours only

In August, the rules for driving time extension will also change. A driver will be allowed to exceed the daily and weekly driving time by up to two hours to reach the employer’s operational centre or his place of residence for rest. He will have to take a non-stop break of 30 minutes before the extra hours of driving. A reason for the extra hours will have to be indicated – manually on the record sheet of the recording equipment or a printout from the recording equipment or in the duty roster, at the latest on arrival at the suitable stopping place.

Any extended working time must be compensated by an equivalent period of rest, taken in one go before the end of the third working week following the week in question.

Exceptions for taking a break or rest in the cab

Only drivers on a ferry or a train will be allowed to take a rest in the cabin. However, there is a condition – there must be a berth or couchette in the cabin. Another situation in which a break in the cabin is allowed is a multi-man crew course. The resting driver must not be involved in helping the person driving the vehicle. This option only applies to 45-minute breaks.

If you want to know more about the changes that the Mobility Package will bring about – download the free guide.

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