On the 31st of May, the European Commission presented its action for clean, competitive and connected mobility. The package includes a set of initiatives that will make traffic safer, encourage smart road charging, reduce CO2 emissions, air pollution and congestion and cut red-tape for businesses. Clearer rules on driving and rest times, “cabotage”, the elimination of “letterbox” companies and better enforcement to tackle abusive practices and fraud that lead to unfair competition and violation of workers’ rights are also addressed in the legislative package.
Until now, EU rules allowed for 3 cabotage operations within 7 days of the international delivery. The Commission proposal looks at allowing unlimited cabotage operations within 5 days of the international delivery. This will make it easier for enforcement authorities to control wrong-doings as well as limit the number of trucks doing empty runs, thereby sparing fuel on unproductive business.
On driving and resting times, the Commission intends to make it easier for drivers to spend more time at home, rather than on the road. Therefore, driving times will not be extended nor changes will be made to the number of rest periods required. Over a four week period the driver would be able to take up to 2 reduced rests in a row. Compensation for the reduced rests must be added to the next regular weekly rest. Drivers will not be permitted to spend their regular weekly rest in the cabin of the truck. Employers will therefore have to provide accommodation for drivers during the regular weekly rest during a long-distance transport operation.
Lastly, the Commission plans to make vehicles under 3.5 tonnes subject to some EU transport rules (e.g. on establishment of transport undertakings), which will not overly burden smaller operators. This will contribute to a "professionalisation" of the sector.
Not all legislative reports have yet been published. FEDEMAC will inform its Members as more information is available.