IRU seeks data on harsh fines and sanctions in the EU

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The TAS survey found weekly travel with Stagecoach is on average 17.5% cheaper than other operators. A Stagecoach Peterborough Dart is seen in Hampton on the Citi 6 service
The TAS survey found weekly travel with Stagecoach is on average 17.5% cheaper than other operators. A Stagecoach Peterborough Dart is seen in Hampton on the Citi 6 service

The IRU (International Road transport Union) and ECR (Euro Control Route) have teamed up to host, on their respective websites, the Euro Control Route Disproportionate Fines & Sanctions online complaint desk, as a key part of the industry’s and EU Enforcement Community’s commitment to work together to further improve road safety, working conditions and fair competition through better enforcement at EU level.

The ECR complaint desk will allow operators and drivers to report controls or penalties they consider unfair with regards to compliance with the EU Driving and Rest Times and Tachograph Regulations. It is widely acknowledged by control bodies and industry alike that these rules, their application and sanctioning can differ dramatically from country to country.

Acting ECR general delegate, Gerard Schipper, said: “We are genuinely concerned when we hear about unfair or damagingly inconsistent enforcement practices in Europe. Our goal is to understand what is really happening in roadside enforcement and remedy control practices which might need to be corrected. It’s only through international co-operation both within ECR and with partners like IRU we can achieve this.”

While reporting this information to the complaints desk is not the same as making an appeal, the collection of data will enable the IRU, together with ECR control bodies across the EU, to better understand the state of enforcement, what is going wrong and where and how improvements can be made. They would then seek to use this information to effectively improve the consistency of regulatory controls and eliminate unfair practices where possible.

IRU general delegate, Michael Nielsen, concluded: “Our transport operators are working right across the European Union. Harmonised enforcement to complement the common EU regulatory framework is instrumental in enabling transport operators to do their job properly, efficiently and with certainty. Fines should be fair and proportionate, yet dissuasive to effectively improve regulatory compliance.

“We are therefore very pleased with this joint effort and commitment from our enforcement partners to meet our common goals of improving road safety, working conditions and fair competition through better enforcement.”

The IRU-ECR online complaint desk is currently available in English, French, German and Romanian, with Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian and other languages to be added soon. A link to the complaint desk can be found at www.iru.org