Truck Drivers/working Conditions : Truck Drivers under Time Pressure, Experts Tell Ep Hearing

European Social Policy, September 5, 2006 | Go to article overview

Truck Drivers/working Conditions : Truck Drivers under Time Pressure, Experts Tell Ep Hearing


The European Commission has started a legal action against nine EU member states for failing to put limits on working time into effect. The revelation came on 29 August at a hearing on international road transport organised by the European Parliament's Socialist Group in Brussels. According to a Commission spokesman, the decision was taken by the Commission on 28 June. Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain had not notified any national measure to transpose Directive 2002/15, while the Czech Republic had notified some but not all its measures.

RADICAL CHANGE

Commission official Szabolcs Schmidt said that "It is only a matter of time until the European Court of Justice has to rule on these infringements'. Mr Schmidt said infringements of new rules limiting driving time to nine hours a day over a 56-hour week would be enforced across borders. "These measures will bring about a radical change in the transport sector," he added. Tough new checks, with three times the current number of inspections at the roadside and in haulage company offices, are to be backed up by stricter rules on driving hours in a bid to cut the EU's annual 40,000 road death toll.

RULES POORLY IMPLEMENTED

Truck drivers told the hearing how unscrupulous hauliers exploit them- illegally paying them by the kilometre, imposing unrealistic deadlines, overloading trucks and exposing drivers to fines of up to 600. …

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