Practical day between TachoWebGroup and European Commission – DG Move

Practical day (focused on enforcement of Reg EC 561/2006 and Reg EEC 3821/85) between TachoWebGroup and European Commission – DG Move (Directorate D3 - Land Transport).
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As a result of the contructive and open dialogue between the policy makers of the European Commission (EC) and the TWG working group of ECR/Tispol, the EC requested the TWG to organise a 1 day training on roadside checks on social legislation for professional raod transport.

The main aim of this day was to show the current situation and operational experiences regarding the complexity of road side checks in relation to the Digital Tachograph and existing problems with fraud and manipulations. Over the last years TWG provided the EC with a lot of enforcement facts, findings and recommendations on this issue and therefore a day at the road side would allow the EC to see how control officers are carrying out their very complicated job in this particular area of road transport enforcement. It is clear that this specific subject is only a part of a total package of enforcement duties, but currently one of the most serious issues in road transport.
Not respecting the rules on driving times and resting periods in combination with tampering with the recording device can cause serious accidents. In 2010 HGV ’s were involded in approximately 5000 fatalities. This means that in 1 in 6 fatal accidents HGV’s are involved. It has to be stated that these accidents are not all caused by drivers of HGV’s. However because of their size and bulk and accident where a HGV is involved leads to more (collateral) damage.
On Wednesday, September 14th 2011, the road side check took place on the parking Bierges in Wavre, near Brussels. DG-Move was present with 14 staff members.

 


Before the road side check DG Move was informed by TWG about the latest situation and developments. Next to experiences and findings in fraud and manipulation, including results of specific enforcement in some EU countries, also the impact of HGV’s in relation to accidents was expressed. After a joined lunch and interesting informal discussions about enforcement ,the road site check started.
This check was carried out by 12 control officers of the Federal Road Police of Belgium and 4 of the FOD (Transport Inspectorate) of Belgium. The control officers were supported by 7 enforcement specialist of ECR and Tispol. These specialist from Germany (2), the Netherlands (2), the United Kingdom (2) and Spain (1) were able to show the latest developments and tactics and informed the members of DG-Move on the current situation.


Between 14.00 and 18.00 hr 28 trucks int totalwere controlled. On the spot 5 cases of fraud/ manipulations were identified ( 2 use of magnet, 1 false leave letter, 1 use of other driver card and 1 case of changed settings of the tachograph). Also 2 cases of manipulations in the days leading up to the control were detected and a device to turn off the speed limiter (not in use at the time). Drivers of 2 trucks had to visit a workshop make their vehicle in compliant, before they were allowed to continue their journey. All drivers concerned and/or their employers were fined directly. Next to these offences some technical failures on the vehicles and infringements of the driving and resting times were found.
Martin Bonthuis, TWG manager on behalf of Tispol, was very satisfied after these day. As overall coordinator of this day he thanks the operational colleagues for their excellent work.
“Even though we are not politicians, we are sure that the aim of the day also could have impact on politics. Decisions have to be made in respect of different needs and approaches. One of the pillars of good rules are possibilties for effective and efficient enforcement. It was good to experience the open attitude of DG Move and their interest in our daily work. We have showed DG Move just one aspect of the complicated way to enforce the international road freight transport. Hopefully we are able to support the EC in amending and renewing regulations, directives and recommendations. We also are willing and able to develop pratical solutions and strongly recommend a harmonised approach in enforcement and interpretation of the existing rules in Europe. “


Gerard Schipper, TWG manager on behalf of ECR, endorse the comments above and would like to draw attention/highlight :
Letter from Mr. Szabolcs Schmidt dd. 21/09/2011
"Thank you very much for having made it possible that my unit could participate in the roadside control organised by ECR and Tispol. All members of my unit much appreciated the unique opportunity to gain practical insight into the challenges of enforcing the social rules in road transport and of detecting manipulation of the tachograph.
It was particular impressive to witness the importance of joint controls of enforcement officers from various EU Member States which enables the exchange of best practice, promotes a common application of the rules throughout the EU and the harmonisation of the technical equipment.
The efforts of ECR to organise such joint controls are much appreciated and supported."

 


 


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