From 12th to 18th October 2020, the Europe-wide ROADPOL Control Week "Truck and Bus” took place, which focuses on the control of commercial goods and passenger transport. Over the year 28 European countries participate in this operations.
Despite the great attention that many police forces have to devote to the COVID19 pandemic, 17 countries nevertheless took part in this action. According to their feedback, 206.304 trucks and 119.081 buses were checked.
During this control week 59.501 violations were found (trucks: 68.791, buses: 10.392).
33.158 times the onward journey had to be prohibited until the proper condition of the vehicles or load had been restored, thereof 2.539 trucks and 619 buses. This is roughly equal to the numbers in the same month in 2019.
The violation rates were 33,34% for freight transport and 5,96% for buses. For freight traffic, this means that a violation was found in 1 in 3 trucks checked. Fortunately, that number is lower for buses. This shows that freight traffic represents a major risk to road safety and that monitoring is still necessary.
European police officers have a very high standard of training in heavy traffic controls, which is reflected in the high complaint rate.
Most of the offences were found in the areas of technical offences and vehicle documents law for busses and in the areas of speed, legislation on driving and rest times and tachograph settings:
10.426 drivers (trucks 10.029, buses 397) offended against Europe-wide valid social regulations, meaning they drove their
vehicle for longer than legally allowed without complying the mandatory breaks.
6.268 times the prescribed tachographs were not properly managed. Manipulations of digital tachographs were detected in 321 cases.
Fumbling with the settings of the tachograph or even manipulating those takes on ever larger forms. The reason for this type of fraud might be the substained competitive pressure in this still-growing industry. The financial benefits for transporters may be large, but the risks for road safety are greater.
Unfortunately, 168 drivers were also found taking part in road traffic under the influence of alcohol, as well as 28 drivers under the influence of drugs.
Collisions involving goods vehicles usually have particularly serious consequences for accidents, even for other road users.
The main causes of accidents for these serious traffic accidents (speed, insufficient load securing, driver fatigue and technical defects of the vehicles) are to be counteracted by checks on goods traffic.
In 4.962 cases (4.773 trucks, 189 buses) serious technical defects were found.
2.148 trucks and 159 busses were found with overweight. Also was the load securing insufficient on 1.618 trucks.
Although the offences in the dangerous goods sector initially appear small in percentage terms at less than 3%, this have been 678 offences (102 less offences than in the same period of the previous year).
At the controlled buses most violations were noted by missing documents (3.090), the use of seat belt (711), excessive speed (897) and technical defects (189).
397 bus drivers also had exceeded the legally permitted driving times.
Especially in the field of passenger transport, passengers must be able to rely on the fact that the vehicles are in perfect technical condition and the drivers are not overtired.
The result of the control week shows that inspections in the area of heavy goods traffic and passenger transport are still an important approach to improve traffic safety.
In addition to the punishment of violations, the drivers are informed by clarifying discussions on the dangers such as insufficient securing of load, putting on seat belt or fatigue due to exceeding of driving times.
But also the constantly increasing problem of distraction at the wheel by e.g. use of mobile phones or other electronic devices should be countered during these checks.
Exceeding speed limits trucks 9.502, busses 897
Seatbelts and other safety restraints trucks 3.177, busses 711
Illegal immigration / Human trafficking 243 cases (249 in same month 2019)
Drug-related findings 93 cases (45 in same month 2019)
Firearms related findings 83 cases (15 in same month 2019)
Property Crimes 373 cases (182 in same month 2019)
Wanted persons 106 (147 in same month 2019)
The next ROADPOL operation Truck & Bus
will take place from 8th to 14th February 2021.
But first, the ROADPOL Alcohol & Drugs
operation will be held from 7 to 13 December 2020.