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Social provisions

Road transport is essential to the economy in terms of its contribution to GDP. The sector also employs almost 5 million people in the EU. Making transport safer and more secure is vital to improve working conditions in the sector. Better working conditions will in turn contribute to a safer transport environment.

The opening of transport markets in Europe significantly increased the competitive pressure on operators and their mobile workers. In this context, social standards with an influence on the cost structure needed to be harmonised to guarantee good working conditions, and to protect the health and safety of workers.

Good working conditions can also contribute to attracting young people to the profession, in an age when the sector is suffering from a shortage of qualified staff.

The EU has therefore established a framework of social rules for goods and passenger road transport operators with three complementary goals:

  • to ensure the adequate social protection  of road transport workers;
  • to guarantee fair competition  between undertakings;
  • to improve road safety by averting road fatigue.

This section provides an overview of the different rules developed at the EU level, including those which govern: driving time and rest periods working time enforcement , and the recording device tachograph .