Every day we read in forums and groups in social networks questions among professional colleagues to solve doubts about regulations on transport of goods by road. A recurring theme is usually around the driving time. Through our fan page on Facebook, we have been asked the following:
Does really exist 15 minutes of time-frame to move the vehicle in my rest time?
To answer this question, we make use of the free legal advice service about transportation and logistics provided by Lextransport to the companies associated to Wtransnet: the Legal Consultant.
Jorge González, lawyer of Lextransport, answers:
The Regulation CE 561/06 is the rule that regulates at present the driving and rest times in Europe and it is of direct implementation by all member states. This rule clearly indicates that the daily rest must be done continuously and therefore, its interruption means an infraction although the article 12 of this Regulation includes possible exceptions to compliance of driving and rest times, specifically it says:
“Provided the safety on the road is not endangered and in order to reach a suitable stopping place, the driver may not qualify under the articles 6 to 9 to ensure the safety of persons, of the vehicle or its load. The driver must indicate manually the reason for the exception in the record sheet of the tachograph or on a printout of the tachograph or on the service registration, at the latest, upon arrival at the suitable stopping place”.
Clearly, doing a reading in depth, we are not protected from the rest interruptions of which we are speaking.
It does exist a Guidance Note written by the European Union -specifically number 3 from the existing 6- that is about the interruptions of the daily or weekly rest but indicating clearly that these exceptions are because of emergencies, instructions of the police or other authorities or because of the need to move the vehicle in the loading dock for security reasons.
Jorge González concludes adding that while there is some tolerance for these 15 minutes in Spain, there is no regulation reproducing this possibility explicitly, only a guidance note of the EU and also a manual made by TRACE (Transport Regulators Align Control Enforcement) entitled ¨Explanation of Regulation (EC) No. 561/2006 to promote harmonized implementation of controls on road” in line with Guidance Note 3. So, we are in the hands of the agent that performs the control and his criteria being clear that “It is not the same to drive continuously for 15 minutes at 80 km/h in the middle of the rest period that the existence of very short movements with just 1 or 2 km of drive due to the need of moving the truck for some of the reasons included in the Guidance Note 3. However, we insist that there is no regulation and this could be reported as often happens and specially if these interruptions are repeated and also when they cannot be justified.
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