European complaint desk to monitor transport fines

Brussels:  The International Road Transport Union (IRU) and Euro Control Route (ECR) have teamed up to host on their websites the Euro Control Route Disproportionate Fines and Sanctions online complaint desk.

The aim is to create a harmonised and efficient enforcement of EU road transport legislation.

It is 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 transport operators and drivers to report controls or penalties that 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 that might need to be corrected.  It’s only through international cooperation both within ECR and with partners like IRU that we can achieve this.”

Reporting this information to the complaints desk is not the same as making an appeal but the collection of such 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, with a view to use this information to effectively improve the consistency of Regulatory controls and eliminate unfair practices where possible”.

IRU general delegate, Michael Nielsen, said: “Our transport operators today 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, 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 available in English, French, German and Romanian, with Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian and other languages to be added in early 2012.

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