Driving and rest periods

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The longer the driving time, the greater the likelihood of drowsiness-related accidents (data from the USA)

The driving and rest times for drivers of vehicles with a maximum permissible mass including trailers of over 3.5 t gross vehicle weight (GVW) in commercial goods or passenger transport are regulated within the European Community in Regulation (EC) 561/2006 . In Germany, the Fahrpersonalverordnung (FPersV) already covers vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 2.8 t or more. By the directive (EU) 2002/15 / EC social legislation were also on since September 23, 2009 independent extended driver.

  • In Germany, the social regulations have also applied to self-employed drivers since November 1, 2012. This regulation was introduced by the law regulating the working hours of self-employed drivers (KrArbZG) .
  • In Switzerland, the "Ordinance on the working and rest hours of professional motor vehicle drivers (Chauffeur Ordinance, ARV1)" of June 19, 1995, including the following updates, applies.

The driving and rest times apply u. a. not for drivers of motor vehicles for passenger transport with a maximum of nine seats (including driver), the police , civil defense and emergency services . The VO. EG 561/2006 applied in a slightly modified form. Further exceptions are mentioned in Article 3 of Regulation (EC) 561/2006 and § 18 Driving Personnel Ordinance (FPersV). For non-commercial goods traffic, the provisions only apply to vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 7.5 t (Regulation EG 561/2006 Art. 3, h). For members of the armed forces, the driving and rest times for all vehicle categories apply when driving company vehicles, i.e. also for vehicles under 3.5 t GVW.

The driving and rest times are automatically recorded by an EC control device. The preselection of the time category: standby or other times (longer compulsory break when the route is completely closed without the possibility of diversion) is required by the driver. In Germany, for example, the road control services of the Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG) and the police are responsible for checking compliance with driving and rest times . For vehicles with a permissible total weight of no more than 3.5 t GVW, a handwritten proof of work time (daily check sheet) is only required according to the FPersV.

Due to insufficient parking spaces for trucks in some metropolitan areas, it is difficult for drivers to comply with driving and rest times. The expansion of the rest area capacities is partly countered by objections from residents.

Daily driving time

The daily driving time in commercial goods or passenger traffic may not exceed 9 hours within a 24-hour period, but it may be extended to ten hours twice between two weekly rest periods. Driving times are those times that are actually spent driving. The driving time only includes stopping the vehicle temporarily if it is the longest activity within a minute. The time spent at traffic lights, at railway barriers, at crossings, in traffic jams or at a border crossing, for example, is not part of the driving time, but only part of the working time. Accordingly, breaks in the journey, even of less than 15 minutes, are not part of the driving time if they take place for reasons other than those mentioned and the driver can leave his seat at the steering wheel. This comes into consideration, for example, in the event of a full closure without an alternative or - in the case of a coach - at a border crossing with time-consuming individual checks of the passengers (see section Breaking the journey ). This is also how the digital tachographs provided for recording the driving time behave . In the event of a stop, the tachograph (with the ignition switched on; if the ignition is switched off, the control device can be set by intervening in the software so that it switches to driving time - rest break) automatically from driving time to working time. After that, every minute is averaged and the predominant status (driving or working time) is saved.

Break in journey

The driving time must not exceed 4.5 hours without a break in the journey. The driver must therefore take a break of at least 45 minutes after driving for 4.5 hours at the latest. According to the legal definition, a break in the journey is any period in which the driver is not allowed to drive or carry out any other work and which is used exclusively for recreation. Unlike the daytime rest, the recovery phase can be completed as a passenger in the moving vehicle. Waiting times - for example when clearing the border or when loading or unloading the vehicle - count as a break in the journey if the expected duration is known in advance. The same applies to the times in the passenger seat or in the sleeping cabin in the moving vehicle as well as on ferry and train journeys.

Alternatively, the break in the journey can be split by first inserting a 15-minute break and then a 30-minute break. It is important here that the total driving time, starting from the previous regular rest period, i.e. H. a break in the journey, daily or weekly rest period, up to the beginning of the 30-minute break in the journey, does not exceed the required limit of four and a half hours.

When splitting, on the one hand the sequence of the short followed by the long break in the journey must be observed and, on the other hand, the maximum duration of uninterrupted driving time must be observed. However, breaks in the journey may not be added to the daily rest period.

However, if the driver carries out other activities before starting the journey, the Working Hours Act also requires that the first break must be taken after no more than six hours of working time (not driving time).

The following break times are possible in regular service: Trip breaks of 3 × 15 min, 2 × 20 min or 1 × 30 min. The 1/6 rule can also be used for regular services with an average stop distance of less than 3 km, which states that the turning times must be 1/6 of the actual driving time. Creditable turning times must last at least 10 minutes, whereby the creditable turning time can be reduced to 8 minutes by means of a collective agreement.

Weekly driving time

The weekly driving time may not exceed 56 hours. However, the total driving time during two consecutive weeks must not exceed 90 hours, so that if the driving time is fully used in the first week and in the second week, a maximum of 34 hours may be driven. The week is defined as the period from Monday midnight to Sunday midnight (calendar week).

rest time

Rest times are times in which the driver can freely dispose of his time for a certain minimum period of time. Every driver or professional driver (BKF) must observe daily and weekly rest periods. Times of work or readiness for work as well as the time in the cabin spent in the moving vehicle are not idle times. The rest time can be spent in the vehicle, provided that it is equipped with a suitable sleeping facility according to § 8a (2) No. 1 for BKF and the BKF is not driving and is not located at the company's location.

Daily rest

The regular daily rest period is at least eleven hours. If it lasts at least nine but less than eleven hours, it is a reduced daily rest period. The driver or the BKF must take a daily rest period within each 24-hour period. The 24-hour period does not need to be the same as the calendar day. The daily rest period can be reduced to nine hours three times within a calendar week and between two weekly rest periods without having to make up for the reduced period. The full daily rest period can be taken in two parts (“splitting”), whereby the first part must cover an uninterrupted period of at least three hours and the second part an uninterrupted period of at least nine hours. Compliance with this order is binding. It should be noted here that it makes no legally relevant difference where the driver spends the night, i.e. it can be reduced to nine hours of rest if the driver spends the night at home or if he spends the night in the vehicle during a tour.

A special feature applies to drivers of a vehicle that is transported in combined traffic with a ferry or the train. In this case, this daily rest period must be eleven hours and must not be shortened. This daily rest period may be interrupted twice if the requirement is met that part of the daily rest period must be spent on the railroad or ship and the other part on land. The period between the two parts of a daily rest period must be as short as possible and must not exceed one hour (both breaks together) before loading the vehicle or after leaving the vehicle from the ferry or the train. The process of loading or leaving also includes customs formalities. The driver must be provided with a bed or a sleeping cabin during both parts of the daily rest period.

In the case of a two-driver crew, it must be noted that the time the first driver drives as a passenger while the second drives the vehicle is not counted as the first driver's daily rest time. If the prescribed daily rest period is spent in the truck, the truck must be parked. A special feature here is that, in contrast to the 24-hour period for single drivers, a 30-hour period must be used in team operation.

Weekly rest

The regular weekly rest period (rWRZ) must be 45 consecutive hours after 6 × 24 hours or after the last weekly rest period. The weekly rest period of 45 hours can, however, be shortened to 24 hours, whereby this is only possible for every second rest period, since a reduced rest period must always be followed by a regular rest period. Any shortening must be compensated for by a continuous rest period to be taken before the end of the third week following the week in question. When splitting the regular weekly rest period into at least 24 hours, however, the 21 hours that have to be made up must be taken into account, so that the missing weekly rest period of 21 hours is only recognized if it is added to the aforementioned 3-week period and thus incorporated. At least 30 hours of rest are required for recognition, unless the 21 hours to catch up are immediately preceded by a 45-hour regular weekly rest period before the end of the sixth daily driving time. There must be at least two weekly rest periods in every double week, at least one of which must be a regular weekly rest period (45 hours). If a weekly rest period is within two weeks, you can choose for which of the two weeks the weekly rest period should apply.

It is now forbidden in Germany as well as in the entire EU due to a decision of the ECJ C-102/16 to spend a regular weekly rest period in the driver's cab in accordance with Art. 8 Paragraph VIII of Regulation (EC) 561/2006.

Competitive relationship with the German Working Time Act

Without prejudice to the EC regulation, the Working Hours Act applies to all drivers in an employment relationship, regardless of the permitted total weight . While the EC regulation regulates the maximum duration of driving times and the minimum duration of rest breaks and rest periods, the Working Hours Act defines the permitted (maximum) working hours. Both regulations must be observed. In the Working Hours Act, the maximum daily working time is an average of 8 hours and a maximum of 10 hours. However, it contains a special provision for employment in road transport, according to which readiness for work , on- call duty and time spent as a passenger or in the sleeping cabin are not working hours in the sense of occupational safety ( Section 21a (3 ) Working Hours Act ). This can result in the driver being present at his workplace for more than 10 hours without exceeding the maximum working hours. This increases the time window in which a driver can be deployed. In commercial driving activities, however, it must be taken into account as driving time if the time frame of the standby times or rest breaks is not announced in advance. There is also an exception in Section 21a of the Working Hours Act, whereby the working time may not exceed 48 hours per week. In exceptional cases, however, it can be extended to up to 60 hours if an average of 48 hours per week is not exceeded within four calendar months or 16 weeks.

Liability for violations

If a driver violates the maximum permitted driving times, he can be fined. Article 10 (II) of Regulation (EC) 561/2006 also stipulates that companies, shippers, freight forwarders as well as tour operators, main contractors, subcontractors and travel agencies must ensure that the contractually agreed transport schedules do not violate the regulation. If, for example, the shipper specifies a delivery date that cannot be achieved taking into account the distance to be covered and compliance with the statutory driving and rest times, he must expect an investigation if a violation is discovered.

The competent national authorities of a member state of the European Community can also punish violations that have been committed on their territory by companies domiciled abroad, as well as violations that have been committed by foreign or domestic companies in another member state, insofar as the violation has not already occurred was punished there. 'This replaces the previously applicable territorial principle for penalties / fines in the national countries (violations can only be punished in the country in which they were committed) by a territorial principle applicable throughout Europe. In Germany, the Federal Office for Goods Transport and the police are responsible for checking compliance with driving times and rest times, as well as other state-owned monitoring authorities, e.g. B. the trade supervisory authorities.

After Finland and the Netherlands also formally approved the intended changes, the 6th amendment to the AETR agreement came into force on September 20, 2010. This means that the new, modified 12-day rule of Regulation (EC) 561/2006 also applies to AETR traffic. As in Regulation (EC) 561/2006, the maximum weekly driving time is set at 56 hours. In addition, the installation of the digital tachograph became mandatory in the AETR member states.

On January 1, 2011, Switzerland adjusted the working and rest hours applicable to Switzerland to those of the EU.

See also

Literature (exemplary)

  • Rang, Christoph, driving times and rest times in road traffic - driver law. , 23rd edition, 2016, Verlag Heinrich Vogel.
  • Hartenstein, Olaf / Reuschle, Fabian (ed.), Handbook of the specialist lawyer for transport and forwarding law . 3rd edition, Cologne 2015, Carl Heymanns publishing house. Part 4: Public Law, Chap. 20: Road haulage law, social regulations and tolls in road traffic, C: Driving times, rest periods and working hours in road traffic.
  • Dittmann, Willy, driving and rest times , guidelines for practice , Verlag Günter Hendrisch GmbH & Co. KG, ISBN 978-3-938255-36-0 .
  • Markus Mertens, mini book series "The digital tachograph - adding times", author: Markus Mertens, TraWitec Verlag GmbH, ISBN 978-3-9817193-3-8 .

Individual evidence

  1. Regulation (EG) No. 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of March 15, 2006 on the harmonization of certain social regulations in road traffic and on the amendment of Regulations (EEC) No. 3821/85 and (EC) No. 2135/98 of the Council and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 (text with EEA relevance) - Declaration; Printed in Official Gazette No. L 102 of 11/04/2006 pp. 0001–0014
  2. This regulation is compatible with EU law according to the decision of the ECJ of November 9, 2004, Az. C-184/02 and C-223/02
  3. Working time regulations have been in effect for self-employed drivers since November 1, 2012 . stuttgart.ihk24.de. Archived from the original on April 29, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  4. Act regulating the working hours of self-employed drivers
  5. See also Bernd Wiebauer, Working time limits for self-employed drivers , Neue Zeitschrift für Arbeitsrecht (NZA) 2012, 1331
  6. Ordinance on the working and rest hours of professional motor vehicle drivers (Chauffeur Ordinance, ARV1) of June 19, 1995 (as of January 1, 2012) on admin.ch
  7. Lack of space - Thousands of truck parking spaces are missing WDR Lokalzeit Duisburg from January 6, 2017, accessed on August 13, 2017
  8. Most truck drivers disregard the quiet times Der Westen, publication by the Funke media group, dated July 23, 2012, accessed on August 13, 2017
  9. Demo against A1 service station in Leverkusen "This protest action was only the beginning" Report of the daily newspaper Rheinische Post from July 10th 2017, accessed on August 8th 2017
  10. Explanation of the driving and rest times from the Federal Office for Goods Transport
  11. Article 4 (d) of the Regulation
  12. The article does not contain any further regulations (argument: Article 7, Paragraph 2, last half-sentence), so that the driving times before and after the breaks may be between one minute and four and a half hours, provided that the total permitted daily driving time is not exceeded. This means that even after a driving time of only two hours with a subsequent 45-minute break, a new driving time segment of four and a half hours begins.
  13. 1/6 Regulation declared by the State Institute for Work Design of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (LIA.NRW)
  14. Article 6 Paragraph 2 of Regulation (EC) No. 561/2006
  15. Article 10 Paragraph 4 Regulation (EC) No. 561/2006
  16. Article 19 (2) of Regulation (EC) No. 561/2006
  17. Section 11 of the Road Haulage Act (GüKG)
  18. ^ Communication (with further information) of July 22, 2010 on the website of the online portal Omnibus-Revue
  19. Communication from September 24, 2010 on the website of the Verkehrsrundschau Internet portal with reference to a communication from the EU Commission of September 23, 2010.
  20. Communication from the online portal gefahrgut-online.de of August 20, 2010 with further information with reference to a corresponding publication by the Swiss Federal Roads Office (Astra) ( Memento of July 9, 2012 in the archive.today web archive )

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