Inspection authorities controlling truck drivers in Europe can not demand proof that the driver spent the week’s rest outside the vehicle – according to a letter from the EU Commission to the International Road Transport Union (IRU). The powers of national supervisory authorities to enforce regular rest periods (45 hours and longer) are therefore limited.
According to the letter received by the IRU, the inspection bodies cannot demand any document from the driver that would confirm the 45-hour rest was spent outside the vehicle’s cabin. It is about receipts or hotel bills – as we read in a communiqué from the German DSLV association, to which the IRU provided the Commission’s letter.
In support of the above guidelines, the European Commission refers to Art. 36 of Regulation (EU) 165/2014. This regulation specifies which documents the drivers must present at the request of the inspection bodies. „The document confirming spending a rest outside the cabin has not been included in it” – quoted by the EC justification of the DSLV relationship.
A penalty can only be imposed in case of caught red-handed
At the beginning of April, Brussels expressed its opinion on the regular control of weekly rest, with a particular focus on the requirement for a hotel bill. It was a reaction to a report issued by the Spanish transport department, which included instructions for the authorities on how to carry out checks on a 45-hour pause. The Spaniards quickly rehabilitated and modified the procedure. Currently, only the driver caught red-handed can be punished for illegal rest. The same EC instructions were included in the letter to the IRU. According to them, a trucker can be punished if he carries out 45-hour rest in a vehicle during the inspection.
The Commission also notes that if non-compliance with the audit practice is implemented, the competent authorities should be contacted to obtain a return of the mandate.