A week with the land transport inspectors...

Each year for several years now, the land transport inspectors department has taken charge of organising an exchange and training week with their counterparts from other European countries.
These training courses have a three-fold objective:
• to promote within the inspection corps a better knowledge of the inspection policies and procedures of each country,
• to seek and establish a harmonisation of inspection procedures, which sometimes differ greatly from one Member State to another,
• to create relationships between the services and deepen practical knowledge of the technical terms used by the road transport control bodies in the language of their country.

A few questions to Evelyne DECKER, Katia GOELLER, Nicolas WARTENBERG and Yohann HESSE, land transport inspectors in the STID/DRT, who participated in the operation.

How many countries were represented?

"7 countries were represented: Belgium, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Czech Republic, the United Kingdom; 13 trainees in all."

What was on the programme for the week?

"Within the ECR [Euro Contrôle Route) framework, we were entrusted by the Ministry with organising this cooperative exchange; more specifically it involves trying to harmonise our practices around a central theme, although this year in fact there were two such themes: road cabotage and load safety. We first presented the way we go to work and the French regulations in the classroom, and then out on the road. Working groups were organised with a practical case that related to one of the week’s themes and formed the subject of a presentation. The exchanges continued even after the official end of the working day."

How were the road checks carried out?

"Two checks were organised, one on the RN 431 at Pouilly, the other on the A4 at the St-Avold toll station. We inspected over forty vehicles. We could determine that our European colleagues worked similarly to us, and that our methods didn’t differ all that much.
However they were delighted to become acquainted with our inspection software [OCTET] and waited impatiently to be able to check a vehicle coming from their own respective countries. In certain cases they helped us out by serving as translators.
After going back home, our Dutch colleagues will even be conducting an inspection of a Dutch company that was ticketed during the road check in Saint-Avold."

How did the trainees feel about this week?

"The trainees were very enthusiastic. Because the theme of cabotage isn´t central in their countries, they were surprised by our know-how. They particularly appreciated the balanced way in which the week unfolded and the road checks. They were also very agreeably surprised by the city of Metz, and notably its cultural heritage. In many cases they specifically said that they would be sure to return for a private visit one day."

What lessons do you draw from this week?

"As every year, we hope to give a very good welcome to the trainees who are put in our charge. And despite a certain degree of real stress, I think that we succeeded in exchanging and sharing our way of doing things. It´s a tried-and-tested approach that transcends the professional framework and which is therefore very enriching on the personal level."


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