Driving times for truckers: the new rules

Truck drivers and bus drivers must follow strict rules on driving and rest hours. The European Parliament has approved the first Mobility Package that sets out new conditions that drivers must comply with to work in full compliance with the laws. In addition, to ensure more adequate rest for drivers there are also new restrictions on rest hours and places where drivers can sleep. No more weekly rest spent in the cabin and surrounded by the much loved ones accessory, but only suitable places. But let's see what exactly has changed… 

Driving times for truckers: what the new legislation provides

Before seeing what has changed compared to before and what are the new rules to follow, we specify that the new law on driving times and mandatory breaks concerns the transport of goods by road that is carried out by MTT vehicles greater than 3.5 tons and the road transport of more than 9 people (including the driver) that takes place by means such as the bus.

The new legislation applies regardless of the country of registration of the vehicle in question and concerns road transport in the European Union, Switzerland and in all countries participating in the agreement on the European Economic Area.

According to what is specified in the new law, all bus drivers and drivers circulating in Europe must not exceed the driving hours provided for by the current legislation and must respect the daily and weekly breaks as indicated in the new law, otherwise there are financial penalties and also the reduction of points on the driver's license.

Precisely the new legislation provides that in a working day of 9 hours the driver or the truck driver is due to stop driving after 4.5 hours for a total of 45 minutes. This rest time can also be divided into two smaller breaks, but the first must be at least 15 minutes and the second never under 30 minutes.

On working days when there is a need to stay at work for 10 hours (allowed only 2 times a week) the driver is obliged to make at least 2 stops, as indicated above. 

How many hours can you drive per week?

As anticipated, the scheduled daily time is 9 hours, which can be extended twice a week for a maximum of 10 hours, while in a week the maximum number of driving hours must not exceed 56. Finally, in 2 weeks you can not exceed 90 hours of driving.

Where is it possible to spend rest hours without being sanctioned?​​​​​​

In the first Mobility Package, in addition to making changes to the permitted driving times, new rules have also been included on the stations where drivers can rest.

Unlike what was allowed before, under the new law it is forbidden to spend weekly rest time in the cab of the truck. The driver must spend this time in a suitable facility at the expense of the company or at his home.

In addition, international drivers who are traveling for several weeks the new law requires returning to their homeland every 2 or 4 weeks, to be defined according to the hours worked.

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