French fines quashed

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France has recognised that controversial fines imposed on coach drivers on double-manned trips are unjustified – according to trade body Transport en Logistiek Nederland (TLN), the Dutch transport federation.

TLN stated: “This has now been confirmed in an official letter from Thierry Guimbaud, Director of Transport Services in which the French Ministry instruct all law enforcement agencies to comply with Guideline 2. This means that when the second driver is available to drive and sits next to the driver of the vehicle, while s/he helps the driver to drive the vehicle, his/her 45 minutes of availability may be regarded as a break. This time is marked accordingly. It also means that all fines must be reversed.”

TLN advises that operators should include copies of the letter in their driver packs for journeys travelling through France to show to a law enforcement official in the event they are stopped.” Download the letter from TLN website at

As for reclaiming a wrongly imposed fine, TLN advised: “The penalty is not automatically refunded and the procedure can vary from court.”

Asked to comment on the story, CPT’s Coaching Manager, Andy Warrender told CBW: “Having lobbied with a number of European trade bodies, CPT is pleased to learn that the French authorities have confirmed that revisions to the rules concerning tachograph units do not in any way affect the regulations surrounding required rest for double manned journeys.
This means that when a second crew member is available and seated on a moving vehicle, then this period of inactivity can be regarded as rest (between periods of driving). We would like to thank the French Authorities for clearing up this matter so quickly.”