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Going to Belgium? Don’t take a long rest

  • 10 July 2014
  • By Roger Brown

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is warning hauliers that the Belgian authorities look set to take a stricter approach regarding drivers taking their normal 45-hour weekend rest in their cabs, with France set to follow suit shortly.

From 21 June, any driver taking a normal weekend rest in a truck on Belgian soil has been open to a fine of up to 1,800 Euros (£1,440). The Belgian government can enforce this prohibition through Regulation 561/2006 Article 8, which has previously been subject to a light-touch approach.

The RHA said France is also looking at a similar measure, although with higher fines than Belgium. An announcement by the French government was pending as CM went to press.

The RHA believes some hauliers may be adversely affected by this action, especially if they are using subcontractors.
It advises operators to review any contracts they are about to make, or review those in place, where a weekend rest is expected to take place.

Kevin Hopper, MD of Brian Yeardley Continental, which has operated on the continent for more than 30 years, suggested that the move was an attempt by the authorities in Belgium and France to deter hauliers – primarily from eastern Europe – staying in those countries for months at a time, pulling trailers from port to port and taking business from local operators.


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