European Commission and
European Labour Authority Join
ROADPOL Enforcement Operation
15 OCT, BRUSSELS – European Commission and European Labour Authority officials joined ROADPOL at the wake of its efforts on freight traffic enforcement.
The venue of the joint action was a busy section of motorway on the outskirts of Belgium’s capital Brussels. The roadside check was part of the European Roads Policing Network’s pan-European flagship Truck&Bus operation (11-17 October). The enforcement team on the spot represented an international task force of officers from Belgian, German, French and Dutch traffic police forces.
The joint inspection was focused on controlling truck drivers in the context of compliance with the driving-and-rest-time and tachograph rules which have been modernized recently through the adoption of the EU Mobility Package 1. The compliance checks are crucial to ensure that road safety risks are mitigated as well as that drivers enjoy social protection rights under EU rules and fair competition within the freight sector is ensured.
ROADPOL’s General Secretary Heinz Albert-Stumpen as well as representatives of European Commission, Belgian Ministry of Home Affairs and the European Labour Authority were present at the inspection. Mr. Stumpen emphasized on the significance of ROADPOL Truck&Bus Operation, which is carried out across the continent four times annually. “With an ever-increasing competition within the freight sector complying with legal driving and resting times is of key importance. Any excessive time behind the wheel inevitably leads to higher levels of fatigue. This brings consequences such as nodding off, slower reactions, making poor decisions, drifting away from lane, losing peripheral vision and experiencing the so called “microsleeps”. Such symptoms in an extremely heavy vehicle can cause crashes of severe magnitude with grave human and material cost. Pursuing a Vision Zero approach, ROADPOL will keep perpetually and energetically tackling these issues by setting freight traffic among the main targets of its pan-European police control operations”, Stumpen stated.
Deputy Director-General for Mobility and Transport and European Coordinator for Road Safety, Matthew Baldwin, European Commission, said: “The European Commission is committed to improving drivers’ working conditions as well as the effectiveness and consistency of road transport rules enforcement throughout the EU. This is about fairness, but it is also about road safety. Driver fatigue is a social issue but it is also a killer. Today we had the chance to speak both to drivers and the police to discuss the challenges. If the rules arerespectedand enforced where necessary, that helps ensure a level playing field in this competitive sector – and will improve road safety for all road users.”
ROADPOL’s Truck&Bus operation is a multi-agency European Traffic Police enforcement action directed against the illegal operation of commercial heavy goods vehicles with the aim of improving road safety and detecting road crime. The operation also targets violations such as overloading vehicles, speeding, driving under the influence or serious technical defects of vehicles. Targeting of persistent offenders and use of intelligence data exchange between ROADPOL members about illegal operators and drivers enhance the effectiveness of the operation. The results so far show that the action is a major factor in improving road safety and reducing road accidents and road casualties in Europe.