European Mobility Package: new measures regarding driving and rest times and the digital tachograph

On Thursday, August 20, the European Mobility Package came into force, the main objective of which is to update the regulations in search of a balance between companies and drivers, in addition to regulating and reducing infringements in the field of road transport. The standards were published on July 31 in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Some of them, specifically those related to driving and rest times, have entered into force this same August 20, while others will do so from 2022.

News regarding driving and rest times:

1. The mandatory pause can be done on the fly

The mandatory break of 45 minutes every 4.5 hours of driving can be done with the vehicle in motion in the case of team driving (as long as the driver who pauses is not dedicated to assisting the driver)

2. More flexible weekly breaks in international transport

The driver is allowed to take two consecutive reduced weekly breaks (of at least 24 hours) only if they are taken outside their country of establishment, and provided that in every four consecutive weeks there are at least four weekly rest periods, two of them normal (that is, at least 45 hours). Said rest reduction must be compensated en bloc by adding it to the next normal weekly rest.

A driver is considered to be engaged in international transport if he begins the two consecutive reduced weekly rest periods outside the Member State of establishment of his company and outside the driver's place of residence.

3. Cabin rest is prohibited on normal weekly breaks

It is not possible to rest on board the vehicle, as long as it is a normal weekly rest (the one greater than 45 hours). The employer must ensure that the driver rests outside the truck in adequate accommodation and assumes the expenses that this causes.

4. The maximum daily or weekly driving limit can be extended by 1 or 2 hours

Provided that road safety is not compromised, the driver, in exceptional circumstances, may also exceed the daily and weekly driving time by a maximum of one hour, to reach the employer's operations center or the driver's place of residence with in order to enjoy the weekly rest period.

Under the same conditions, the driver may exceed the daily and weekly driving time by a maximum of two hours, provided that he takes an uninterrupted break of thirty minutes immediately before the additional driving to reach the employer's operations center or place of business. residence of the driver in order to enjoy a normal weekly rest period.

The driver must indicate the reason for the exception manually on the recording equipment record sheet or on a printed document from the recording equipment or in the service record, at the latest upon arrival at the destination or at the appropriate stopping point.

In both cases, the maximum biweekly driving time (90 hours) must continue to be respected.

5. Drivers must return to their workplace or place of residence every 3 or 4 weeks

The transport company will organize the work of its drivers in such a way that, in each period of four consecutive weeks, they can return to the employer's workplace where the driver is normally based and where their rest period begins. weekly, in the employer's Member State of establishment, or to return to the drivers' place of residence, to enjoy at least a normal weekly rest period or a weekly rest period of more than 45 hours taken as compensation for a period reduced weekly rest.

If the driver has taken two consecutive reduced weekly rest periods, the transport company will organize the driver's work in such a way that he can return before the start of the normal weekly rest period of more than 45 hours that he takes as compensation, that is , in the third week. The company must document the way in which it complies with this obligation and will keep this documentation in its premises to present it at the request of the control authorities.

News regarding the use of the digital tachograph:

1. Record of the tachograph on board the vehicle

The new Regulation extends the verification period on board vehicles from the current 28 days to 56 days. However, this legal requirement will not come into force until December 31, 2024, so until that date it will continue to be required to carry the records of the last 28 days on board.

Therefore, when a driver drives a vehicle equipped with an analog tachograph, he must have the record sheets (diagram discs) for the current day and those used by the driver in the previous 28 days, the digital tachograph card if he has one. , and any manual registration or printed document made during the current day and the previous 28 days. Likewise, if the driver carries a vehicle equipped with a digital tachograph, he must also have his driver card as well as any manual record or printed document made during the current day and the previous 28 days as well as the record sheets corresponding to the same period in the case that in that period he had driven a vehicle equipped with an analogue tachograph.

2. New second generation smart tachograph

The new tachograph will make it possible to record the place where daily work starts, border crossings, loading and unloading work, tracking accumulated driving every three hours and the place where the daily work period ends. This device will be installed in all new transport vehicles once the European Commission defines its technical specifications in the next 12 months, estimating that in the next 2 years, these is, as a limit before August 2023, the vehicles that are They must be equipped with the new tachographs.

3. Replacement of current tachograph devices

The European Regulation establishes a transitional period only if they carry out international transport (although Spain could extend the substitution obligation also to those who carry out national transport). Thus, vehicles that have a non-intelligent analog or digital tachograph installed will have the obligation to directly install a second generation intelligent tachograph before December 2024. And vehicles that have a first generation intelligent tachograph installed must replace it with that of second generation before August 2025.

4. Tachograph mandatory in light vehicles over 2.5 tns

Light vehicles between 2.5 and 3.5 tons of MMA (currently exempt from being provided with a tachograph) must install it before July 2026 if they carry out international transport, although Spain could assess the possibility of extending it to national transport in our country as well.

5. Obligation to record in the tachograph every time a border is crossed

This obligation will be required as of February 2, 2022. In the event that the tachograph device does not register it automatically, the driver must do so manually at the beginning of the driver's first stop as close as possible to the border of the new Member State. who has entered. If the vehicle is on a train or ferry, such an entry will be made at the train station or port of arrival