Skip to main content
RT Week of Action May 2024 - webnews

Record fines during May Week of Action in Road Transport

Published date

Hundreds of trucks and buses were checked by enforcement officers in multiple Member States. Joint inspections resulted in 396 identified infringements.  

Press release

Eleven Member States hosted inspections in the May Week of Action in Road Transport with support of the European Labour Authority (ELA) and in partnership with the European Roads Policing Network (ROADPOL).  

Compliance with the driving and resting time was at the forefront of majority of inspections. The most extreme case concerned one driver who drove for more than 33 hours taking only very short breaks, which is a very serious breach of both labour and safety rules. This driver was stopped thanks to an inspection in Bulgaria, in which also authorities from Belgium participated.  

Drivers received ELA information leaflets about posting as well as driving and resting times. One driver reacted: “It is good there are some limits for forwarding agents. If there were no time limits on the driving time, they would put even more pressure on us than they do now.”

The ELA Week of Action in Road Transport in numbers1:  

  • 555 vehicles checked;  
  • 396 infringements identified;  
  • more than 273 thousand Euros total fines;  
  • 83 “clean” checks2;
  • 328 enforcement officers involved;  
  • 19 Member States involved;  
  • 64 observers from other Member States and 19 ELA staff.  

This largest joint inspection so far took place at a parking lot in Antwerpen in Belgium. The primary focus of this inspection was the legal provision which forbids the driver taking a regular weekly rest in the cabin. It was organised on purpose during an extended (three days) weekend. Belgian authorities and enforcement officers from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland and Romania were involved in the inspection. 

Out of 202 vehicles checked in Belgium, two thirds were found with infringements. 

Employers did not provide suitable accommodation, drivers had to spend the weekend in their trucks in deplorable conditions. There are showers here but not for over 300 people.

Belgian officers found 135 breaches of the rule, which obliges drivers to take their regular weekly rest outside of the cabin. Apart from that, there were 70 breaches of the obligation to return the vehicle to the company's country of establishment at least every 8 weeks. In 35 cases the driver did not get the opportunity to return home within a period of 3 or 4 consecutive weeks. 

We found out that one Romanian company had turned the car park into their base. The Romanian vehicles never returned to Romania. The drivers of that company were paid in accordance with the Romanian employment conditions while they should have been paid under the Belgian employment conditions. We will continue further investigations with our Romanian colleagues.

In Sweden the Police along with the Transport Agency hosted their first joint inspection with the support of ELA. Police and road transport inspectors from Finland, Lithuania and Latvia assisted.

In general we see many challenges with the enforcement of commercial traffic, however, I think cross-border inspections can help us to better enforce the Mobility Package I. Therefore this inspection was a positive experience for us. Efficient enforcement of the common rules requires high levels of expertise on the side of inspectors and division of competencies at the national level. And of course good cooperation nationally and across the borders are of great importance.

The joint action on the road took place during the week 13 – 19 May in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden. In total, 328 inspectors from transport, police, labour and many other national authorities joined forces with the observers from 14 Member States: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

The uncovered infringements against road transport regulations resulted in total fines of about 273 thousands euros. Apart from driving and resting time, infringements concerned the use of tachograph, road worthiness, load securing or missing posting declarations and other documents (e.g. community license). Further investigations will concern posting, cabotage and other situations.

More than a dozen of trucks and other vehicles (under 3.5 tonnes) were not allowed to continue their journey. A few persons were arrested (a case of money laundering) and a truck with stolen cargo was seized.

The Weeks of Action in Road Transport will continue throughout 2024 with the aim to strengthen the efforts to promote fair working conditions and road safety in this very transnational economic sector.  

1 Information on results not provided or finalised by all Member States at the time of publication.

2 Number of “clean” checks provided by 2 Member States; the methodology of “clean” checks may differ among Member States.