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ELA

Action Week: inspections on European roads

The “Truck&Bus” action week ended on Friday: 184 vehicles were checked, >120 suspected irregularities discovered, almost 200 inspectors involved. Roadside checks were made in Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal. Safety on European roads was the focus, including working conditions of drivers. ELA and ROADPOL facilitated the cooperation of Member States authorities. Observers from other Member States, ELA national liaison officers and experts were on the spot.

inspections on trucks

The “Truck & Bus” action week came to end with a total of 184 vehicles checked, over 120 suspected irregularities and almost 200 inspectors involved. Roadside checks were carried out in Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Portugal, focusing on the safety on European roads, including on the working conditions of drivers. ELA and ROADPOL facilitated the Member States’ authorities in their cooperation on these inspections, coordinated and supported the participation of observers from other Member States and deployed its national liaison officers and experts on the spot. 

The European Labour Authority (ELA) joined forces with the European Roads Policing Network (ROADPOL) for a Europe-wide enforcement action which took place during the week commencing 7th of February 2022. For this operation “Truck & Bus” week, ELA together with ROADPOL facilitated increased involvement of Member States’ national enforcement authorities in their cooperation with each other and with members of ROADPOL. The national authorities included those from Labour, Social Security and Transport Inspectorates, Customs Offices, and Police. 

Law enforcement authorities identified targeted roadside inspection sites with significant numbers of freight road transport traffic. The main focus of the inspections was verifying compliance with the tachograph and driving and resting times rules. The Traffic Police, as usual, also checked for violations in relation to load security, speeding, technical deficiencies and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Beyond deploying its own National Liaison Officers and experts on the spot, ELA coordinated and supported the participation of observers from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Spain and Slovakia at roadside inspections in Germany, Belgium, Croatia and Portugal. This close cooperation on the ground enables the sharing of experiences and enforcement practices from different countries, which is crucial in particular now that new road transport legislation is applicable. It also helps to build contacts amongst national authorities, as well as to improve cross border cooperation. 

 

The action week in numbers

  • 4 Member States (Belgium, Germany, Croatia and Portugal) organised inspections with the participation of authorities from other 7 Member States; some other countries (Bulgaria, Lithuania, the Netherlands) also organized inspections at national level during this week  

  • more than 209 control officers* involved, including 17 observers, ELA staff and several interpreters. Most enforcers were road police officers, also customs, road transport, labour and social security inspectors 

  • 184 vehicles checked  

  • more than 103 drivers (workers) interviewed 

  • more than 120 infringements detected, out of which: 

    • 59 infringements related to driving/resting times and the use of tachographs 

    • 3 infringements related to incorrect payment of wages or other working conditions  

    • 6 cases of illegal employment/ undeclared work  

    • 61 infringements on general traffic-related rules (overweight, technical conditions of vehicle, speeding etc.) 

    • 8 trucks were not allowed to continue driving 

 

Focus on workers’ rights and on safety on roads  

Each roadside inspection had its own specific focus area, nevertheless social aspects of road transport EU legislation, namely driving and resting times, posting of drivers rules and adequate social protection of road transport workers (e.g. wage regulations) always deserve specific attention. These aspects are also key to improve safety on roads. 

This first week of action is part of ELA’s focus on the road transport sector within the Framework for Action on Road Transport for 2022. Similar inspections are planned and will take place later this year. Other activities will include the provision of clear, user-friendly and easily accessible information for drivers and operators. ELA will also facilitate and enhance cooperation between the relevant national authorities, provide support for capacity building, and support cooperation in tackling undeclared work. 

As regards cross-border inspections, ELA provides Member States with operational support and assistance in the preparation, coordination, and follow-up of concerted and joint inspections, including by facilitating the exchange of information, translation of case-specific documentation and interpretation. ELA also supports cross-border inspections by covering travel and accommodation expenses of participating authorities. 


* Numbers below concern only inspections in Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania and Portugal