LABEL Newsletter Nº 1 : May 2009
The LABEL project in the perspective of the Drivers’ Hours Rules Regulation
The roots of the LABEL project lie in the correlation between the EC Regulation 561/2006 dealing with driving time in the road transport sector and the fact that the transport sector itself represents considerable economic weight but remains quite vulnerable in many aspects, especially when it comes to the very security of trucks, drivers and products carried.
Indeed, previous to the launch of the LABEL project, NEA conducted a study on the feasibility of organising a network of secured parking areas for road transport operators on the trans European road network. Amongst the several issues underscored in this study, there is the fact that security of truck drivers is all the more crucial that they are often away from relatives in unfamiliar circumstances.
In parallel, the regulation 561/2006 sets the legal frame for working conditions of truck drivers. As a matter of fact, the recent EU enlargement has engendered a need for harmonising driving time across the EU and enhance road safety by protecting truck drivers against excessive driving times, hence increasing the risk of severe accident.
When it comes to the LABEL project, one of the major item of the regulation 561/2006 is to precise conditions under which a truck driver is legally obliged to rest. For instance the daily driving time should not exceed nine hours; after driving for four and a half hours, the driver must take an uninterrupted break of not less than 45 minutes.
A consequence of this regulation is quite simple to explain. Because drivers are legally bound to take rest periods, and considering what is at stake in terms of human security of protection of vehicles and goods, Secured Truck Parking Areas should be developed and certified across the EU so that truck drivers can rest in parking areas with high standard of quality and security. LABEL aims at achieving this goal.