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News (18/03/2016)

Road Transport: Commission adopts common rules to facilitate enforcement and enhance road safety

The European Commission has today adopted a series of rules applicable to road hauliers and road passenger transport operators. They include a common classification of serious road safety infringements under transport legislation, as well as new specifications for smart tachographs (the device that records driving times of lorry, bus and coach drivers) making the best use of new digital technologies such as Galileo. The objective is to enhance road safety, contribute to a fairer competition between road transport operators and to facilitate a consistent enforcement of EU rules across borders. Removing legal and technical access barriers to the road transport market and to strengthening the enforcement of applicable social legislation is a priority on which the Commission intends to work further in the coming months, as was announced in the 2016 Commission Work Programme pdf - 239 KB [239 KB] български (bg)čeština (cs)dansk (da)Deutsch (de)eesti keel (et)ελληνικά (el)español (es)français (fr)hrvatski (hr)italiano (it)latviešu valoda (lv)lietuvių kalba (lt)magyar (hu)Malti (mt)Nederlands (nl)polski (pl)português (pt)română (ro)slovenčina (sk)slovenščina (sl)suomi (fi)svenska (sv). These initiatives will be discussed with Member States and stakeholders during a Road Transport Conference on 19 April.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "I want fair competition on Europe's roads and I want roads to be as safe as they can possibly be. The common classification of serious infringements is an important step towards better enforcement and better compliance with the rules in force. It is crucial for ensuring that drivers and operators are treated equally across the EU.  The new generation of smart tachographs will offer new means to ensure better enforcement of driving and resting times, making fraud more difficult, whilst enhancing road safety and reducing the need for time-consuming road-side checks."  

The Commission regulation on the classification of infringements provides for a common classification of serious and very serious infringements of the EU road transport rules, which, when ascertained, may lead to the loss of good repute of a road transport operator. This may further lead to the operator losing the Community licence necessary to run a transport business in the EU. The common classification will reduce divergences in the way Member States deal with the same infringements and will provide incentives for better compliance with the EU rules contributing to enhancing road safety and ensuring fair business and working conditions. It will contribute to improving effectiveness of cross-border enforcement as Member States are obliged to exchange the information on serious and very serious infringements through the electronic system called European Register of Road Transport Undertakings (ERRU). Member States are obliged to transpose this common classification by 1 January 2017. The adopted list of infringements is not fully complete yet. The Commission is exploring possibilities for upgrading it within the ongoing work on preparing a set of road initiatives.

The new specification for the smart tachograph makes full use of advanced digital technologies such as the GALILEO and EGNOS satellite positioning systems. It will transmit its data directly to road controllers when the vehicle is moving, avoiding unnecessary stops for the hauliers and making the controller's job more efficient. It will be connected with other telematics applications (such as smart parking or pay as you drive apps), through a harmonised Intelligent Transport System interface. Start and final location of journeys will be automatically recorded.. The new smart tachograph will be a decisive step towards more effective enforcement of road transport legislation.

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