New EU unveiling rules due to increase control of sector

New EU unveiling rules due to increase control of sector
The European Commission will today unveil its “Mobility Package” with proposals for changes to the regulation of road haulage in Europe.

This package of measures will be massive in scope, including driver rest, minimum wage arrangements and operator licensing rules.

It will cover:

Driving and Rest rules
Euro Vignette (road user charging rules)
European E-Tolling system
Enforcement of posting of workers (minimum wage rules for drivers working internationally)
Hired Vehicles
Operator Licensing rules
International haulage by road rules
We expect changes to driver weekly rest rules will allow up to 3 shortened weekend rests in a 4 week period providing all shortfalls in rest hours are made up in a single driver rest period (that could be a required single rest of up to 108 hours).

The Commission is also expected to propose changes to cabotage rules that will remove the limits on the number of jobs an operator can do within 5 days (the current limit is 3 jobs in 7 days).

Any changes arising from the Commission proposals will not be introduced before Brexit, but cabotage aside, all are likely to impact on the regulation of UK drivers and UK operators undertaking international road haulage from about 2020. The RHA will summarise the measures for members as quickly as we can when they are released by the Commission.

It’s official…he’s retiring!
The long-term Policy Director of the RHA, Jack Semple, is to retire in July.

Jack held the role for the last 10 years, during which time he won the respect of the sector. He has championed the interests of the members effectively and has made a real difference in many areas with his tireless lobbying on behalf of the industry. He will be missed inside the RHA, in the industry, and by many he has dealt with in Government and elsewhere.

In a restructuring of roles, Rod McKenzie, currently Director of Marketing & Communications, takes on the modified role of Director of Policy & Public Affairs. Reporting to Rod McKenzie, Duncan Buchanan takes over as the new Policy Director.

Commenting about Jack’s retirement, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “We’ll be sorry to see Jack leave us and wish him all the best in a long and a happy retirement. He leaves behind a big pair of shoes to fill.”

Wake up – driver fatigue can kill
Driver fatigue causes thousands of road accidents each year. Research shows that driver fatigue may be a contributory factor in up to 20% of road accidents, and up to one quarter of fatal and serious accidents.

The RHA is promoting a short 5 minute survey for individual drivers so that sleep problems that may be affecting them can be identified. This survey will allow us, and our partners Fatigue Management International Ltd and the Occupational Sleep Apnoea Partnership, to gather information about the problem. The survey is completely anonymous.

Newark Lorry Parking – Good news
Newark council has announced that it will be spending almost £800,000 extending a lorry parking facility. The RHA welcomes this investment which will see new spaces created to replace those lost to a new development, with the potential for more in the future. The parking will help meet a critical need for proper facilities for drivers and operators. More information is available here.

New German cab rest rules
As of 25 May, lorry drivers are no longer allowed to take their weekly rest in the cabin of their vehicle in Germany.

According to a new law, truck drivers need to have their weekly rest in proper facilities. It follows that sleeping in the cabin will be considered as no sleep at all and fined as follows: EUR 60 per extra hour for the driver, and EUR 180 per extra hour for the transport operator.

No further information about enforcement and accepted proofs has been made available – when we know we will share the information with members.

Driving Hours, the RHA talks with other European trade bodies
The RHA attended a 2 day meeting at the IRU in Brussels last week with 20 or so other trade bodies from around Europe. The likely Commission proposals were discussed detail where driver rest regulation was a major talking point (given the recent in cab rest bans being introduced across the EU). The RHA highlighted its view that weekly rest in the cab should be allowed where undertaken in a secure facility equipped with decent facilities including toilets and showers. There was some support for our position among the trade bodes there, others felt that all weekend cab rest should be banned.

The new EU rules mentioned above will be trying to address the issue – we will keep members posted.

Interested in this article? Read more at RHA