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The future of roadside enforcement

  • 19 February 2014
  • By Justin Stanton

As reported in the last compliance newsletter, the final stage in the legislative process to amend tachograph regulation (EC) NO 561/2006 and to repeal (EEC) 3821/85 has been announced, ready for the European Commission to adopt early in 2014, writes Guy Reynolds, Tachodisc technical director.

Following on from the last bulletin, where we referenced the EU’s proposals for ‘Integrating GPS with the digital tachograph’, ‘Roadside interrogation of the tachograph’, ‘Vehicle weight information’ and ‘Security of drivers cards’, we now turn to the EU’s proposals relating to road side enforcement.

Harmonisation of the rules across the EU
Article 41 says: “Member States shall, in accordance with national constitutional arrangements, lay down rules on penalties applicable to infringements of this Regulation and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. Those penalties shall be effective, proportionate, dissuasive and non-discriminatory and in compliance with the categories of infringements set out in Directive 2006/22/EC.”

There are various issues here:

  • There is a lack of a common interpretation of EU hours rules for drivers across EU Member States.
  • There are substantial differences in how certain penalties are rated in terms of significance or seriousness across the EU.
  • There is a lack of consistency about the penalties imposed across the EU.

The EU proposals here are concerned primarily with addressing the second point: how serious certain offences are seen to be. The EC wishes to achieve a broad agreement so that the most serious infringements of the rules are recognised as such by all Member States and their enforcement agencies. These infringements would then carry the maximum penalty, regardless of the level at which that penalty is set.

They are designed to ensure fair competition in the internal road transport market and to send a clear signal to drivers and transport undertakings.

The proposal also says that Member States should ensure that the selection of vehicles for inspection is carried out without discrimination on grounds of the nationality of the driver, or of the country of registration or entry into service of the commercial vehicle.

The important aspect is that every State is recognising and punishing those offences that have the most direct impact on public safety.

A related section of the proposals aims to boost the training of enforcement officers. Better training and a harmonisation of offences throughout the EU will help UK operators achieve a fairer competitive environment in which compliance is uniformly enforced.

Exchange of information between Member States
Article 31 says: “The Commission and the Member States shall take all necessary measures to ensure that the electronic registers are interconnected and accessible throughout the Union, using the TACHOnet messaging system.”

The EC says that all Members States must keep an up-to-date electronic register of licences and drivers cards issued, and that for the first time, interconnecting these national registers will be mandatory. This means both administrators issuing cards and control officers investigating infringements will be able to check against the whole of the EU database for previous restrictions, pre-existing cards or violations of the system.

In the interests of the clear, effective, proportionate and uniform implementation of social rules in road transport, Member States’ authorities should apply the rules in a uniform manner.

To support this latest legislative summary, more detailed information on the final proposals can be found in Tachodisc’s White Paper titled ‘Change is on the Cards’ (vs. 2 August 2013), which is available to download here

  • Commercial Motor’s Compliance and Best Practice Bulletin is sponsored by Tachodisc. To sign up to receive the monthly bulletin, go to the Compliance homepage.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/the-future-of-roadside-enforcement