CPT calls on operators to report French driver fines

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CPT advises that the only way to be sure of avoiding these fines is for drivers involved in double-manning not to take breaks in moving coaches. GARETH EVANS
CPT advises that the only way to be sure of avoiding these fines is for drivers involved in double-manning not to take breaks in moving coaches. GARETH EVANS

CPT is appealing for operators to report incidents of their drivers being fined owing to a revised interpretation of drivers’ hours rules in France.

French authorities believe the new regulation which brings in the ‘smart tachograph’ abolishes the possibility of a second driver taking a break on a moving coach while his/her colleague is driving. The French believe the coach must be stationary, with its engine turned off, while either or both of the drivers are on rest.

A driver reported on the Coach Drivers North & South Facebook group that a colleague had been fined €470 (£369) at the Franco Andorran border.

The trade body said in a statement: “CPT – along with virtually everyone else in Europe – believes this interpretation is wrong. The International Road Transport Union (IRU) is already in touch with the European Commission, which is working towards an infringement case against France.

“If your drivers have already been fined for this, please contact Andy Warrender on [email protected]-uk.org – and tell him the number of vehicles/drivers stopped and fined; where they were stopped; the levels of fines imposed; and any other relevant information.

“We will then pass this information to the European Commission as part of the case for action. For the time being, we very much regret that the only way to be sure of avoiding these fines is for drivers involved in double-manning not to take breaks in moving coaches.”