ROADPOL Truck&Bus Operation
Successful Despite Pandemic
14 FEB 2021 (updated) – ROADPOL flagship operation Truck & Bus was successfully carried out despite restrictive measures imposed in numerous member countries.
The enforcement operation aimed at commercial goods and passenger transport was carried out during the week of 8-14 February. It was the first of four such campaigns planned for 2021.
The operation was expected to be strongly influenced by the COVID-19 measures extended and tightened lately with the new variants of the virus looming across the continent. As an effect a number of countries no longer had the capacity to participate in the operation because vast human resource is currently being redirected towards COVID-19 measures enforcement. Other group of countries carried out the “Truck & Bus” Operation, but with fewer staff involved and in a limited way aimed at minimizing the risk of infection. COVID-19 infection risk is relatively high at control operations because of close contact with checked drivers. Additionally besides the police the operation often relies on integrated approach by combining authorities such as customs, tax authorities, commercial road transport enforcement bodies and road authorities. In the course of a pandemic this would mean even more increased physical contact between a sheer number of operatives involved.
“Large inspections with many participants are therefore not sensible now”, ROADPOL Operational Working Group Secretary Henk Jansen of the National Police of the Netherlands comments. He admits the pandemic poses a challenge to the organization of effective transport control, but states that there still are techniques to facilitate the operation. “Not all aspects of control can be included, but enforcement pressure can still be exerted. One way could be to work in pairs to patrol the designated road section and remove trucks from traffic to check them in a safe place”, Jansen explains.
Preparation, planning and implementation of „Truck & Bus“ operation is done differently in the different countries with lots of principal similarities. The police may have to request support personnel from other departments, such as police motorcyclists to take trucks off the road as it has been done in the past. The check completion time varies depending on the violation if any. It is sometimes short if the offence requires just a ticket (fine) to be written. However there are more serious violations such as overload, exceeding driving times or serious technical defects. In these cases truck or bus is no longer allowed to continue its course and more time is necessary to draw up the reports. In these cases control forces spend a few hours to a day on this.
The focus of the checks targeted the truck (weight, dimensions, driving-technical condition, the tachograph), the load (waybill, possible license) and the driver (driving license, use of alcohol/drugs, signaling). „This integrated approach is not always effective and requires commitment from many parties and people. It is also possible to opt for a more thematic approach, such as the environment, technology or, for example, subversion. It is important, however, that a good pre-selection is made of which trucks will be taken to the place of inspection“, Jansen emphasises. He explains that because of more freight traffic more checks were made during the work week than during the weekend. But still this should not be soothing to violators on the weekend for our next operations, concludes the expert.
Results of the past "Truck & Bus" campaign are to be published on ROADPOL website and social media channels in the beginning of March.