How will the new EU Mobility Package 1 benefit HGV drivers?

After nearly four years of discussing, planning, and debating, the European Union’s (EU) Mobility Package 1 has finally been adopted by the European Parliament. Over three phases, the legislation aims to improve road safety, create fair and consistent enforcement across road transport sectors, reduce road emissions, and encourage innovation and digitalisation. But, how will the new EU Mobility Package 1 benefit HGV drivers? 

The goal of the new EU Mobility Package 1 is to modernise the road transport sector, by ensuring there are adequate working conditions put in place for drivers, and harmonising administrative requirements and access to the road transport market across EU countries; essentially making it quicker and easier to transport goods across borders.

Minimum wage 

Each country in the EU has its own minimum or living wage laws, however, with the introduction of the new EU Mobility Package 1, it is now mandatory that the minimum wage for HGV drivers will be consistent across all EU countries. Therefore, if a transport company in Germany sends a driver to work in France, the German company must pay the driver at least minimum wage or the same as a local french driver would – giving drivers much fairer and consistent payment for their work across the EU.

Rest periods 

The new EU legislation allows drivers a regular weekly rest period of more than 45 hours, where drivers can rest in suitable accommodation paid for by the transport company. This ensures the driver’s safety and welfare are accounted for – especially on long haul trips. Drivers will also be entitled to a ‘cooling-off’ period of four days, protected by the new legislation after they return to the home state of the vehicle. On top of this, all vehicles must be returned to the company’s headquarters every eight weeks. Allowing drivers enough time to rest and recuperate in a safe and comfortable place means they will be more focussed and less tired – lowering the risk of road traffic accidents. 

Driver returning to their country of origin

Although there are strict rest period rules for drivers, the new EU Mobility Package 1 now gives drivers the right (and the choice) to return home to their country of origin every four weeks for each period of three or four consecutive working weeks. Long haul HGV drivers can spend long periods of time away from home, and so, this new legislation may give drivers the opportunity to see friends and family more. 

Improved parking areas 

The EU Mobility Package 1, along with initiatives launched by the European Commission in 2019, recognises the need for more safe and secure truck parking areas. The legislation aims to build 100,000 new parking areas and improve upon existing rest areas, as some are insufficient and dangerous for the drivers. With few safe places to stop for rest, many drivers park on the hard shoulder or parking bays next to fast motorways. This is obviously very dangerous, and so this has highlighted a real need for safer parking areas for drivers to pull up to and rest. 

To find out the best places for HGV drivers to stop for rest, please read our recent blog

Tachographs 

By 2026, tachographs will become mandatory for all light commercial vehicles between 2.5 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes.

Last year, we successfully launched our most recent SE5000 Connekt® Smart Tachograph with a dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) antenna and new test equipment and saw strong demand in the market. This year, we are actively working to meet retrofitting obligations following the development of our Smart Tachograph 2; in compliance with the European Commission’s technical specifications that are expected to be released by 2021. Our Smart Tachograph 2 will fulfill the legal requirements and simplify handling and regulated reporting.

The EU Mobility Package 1 regulations will apply from the 2nd February 2022, however, the rules on driver rest times and returning to their home country have already begun; starting on the 20th August 2020. 

Do you have any driver safety or lower emissions tips on your long haul trips? What are your thoughts on the new EU Mobility Package 1 legislation? Let us know on Twitter by tagging us at @stoneridgeinc