ROADPOL, ELA Take
14 FEB - ROADPOL and the European Labour Authority took their cooperation further up by performing another series of their joint enforcement inspections on commercial heavy goods vehicles.
The joint activities took place in Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Portugal during the week of 7-13 February concurring with the regular ROADPOL Truck&Bus enforcement operation.
Besides the ordinary targets of the operation such as overloading vehicles, speeding, driving under the influence or serious technical defects of vehicles, the joint inspections further focused on compliance with the driving-and-rest times and tachograph rules. These have been modernized recently through the adoption of the EU Mobility Package 1 promoted by the European Commission, which supports the ROADPOL-ELA international joint actions, including financially through the STRIDER II project.
One such joint action took place close to the German-Luxembourgish border on highway 48 Koblenz-Luxembourg. 26 representatives of Rhineland-Palatinate Police and 9 from ELA took carried out truck inspections joined by customs officers from the Koblenz station. The mixed staff was welcomed by ROADPOL President Volker Orben, himself a representative of Rhineland-Palatinate Police. During the joint control operation 32 trucks were checked. Within these, 13 infringements were found out to be related to driving and rest times and use of tachographs. 13 other offences were detected on general traffic-related rules such as overweight, technical conditions of vehicle, speeding, etc. The customs officers found potential evidence for two criminal cases on social dumping, e.g. incorrect dealing with drivers wages. One other case was found on illegal employment with further investigation ensued. As a result of the inspection 6 trucks were not allowed to continue their journey.
Another joint cross-border inspection took place on the A6 motorway, “Aire de Capellen”, an important transit path between Belgium and France in Luxembourg. Organized by the “Truck-Group” from the National Traffic Police, the campaign was attended by the ELA's National liaison officer of Luxembourg and was staffed by 10 police officers. In total, 25 trucks were checked with 28 offences detected, most of them concerning driving and rest time rules. During the operation Luxembourg Traffic Police used the VDO DSRC System (INELO) to collect data by radio from the last generation tachographs.
Both entities assess the joint compliance checks as crucial to ensure that both road safety risks are mitigated and that drivers enjoy social protection rights under EU rules as well as that fair competition within the freight sector is ensured.