European Parliament amends proposed EU driving hours rules
The European Parliament adopted at its April 13 plenary session several pro-trucking industry amendments concerning the future application of truck drivers’ hours rules in the European Union.
In the second reading of the drivers' hours rules legislation, the parliament agreed to retain certain rules on drivers’ rest periods, reject a proposal for the compulsory retrofit of digital tachographs within three years, and exempt small trucks from new legal requirements.
The United Kingdom’s Freight Transport Association (FTA) welcomed the concessions made by the European Parliament, saying the amendments will be “saving many millions of pounds by the avoidance of what would have been a substantial extension of the application of European drivers’ hours rules.”
It added that the European Parliament has rejected “the most unworkable aspects” of the council of ministers’ proposals. The European Commission proposal, originally issued in 2001, was designed to clarify and simplify rules on drivers’ hours and the introduction of digital tachographs to record driving hours.
The European Parliament’s adopted text will now have to be reconciled with the council of ministers through a conciliation. This will begin within six weeks and is expected to be completed by the end of July.
“We’re keen to see that these proposals are not lost when it comes to the concilation,” said Damien Viccars, FTA policy adviser in Brussels.
If delegations from the parliament and council of ministers fail to reach an agreement, the proposal will lapse.