On 20 October 2020, Polish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Kosma Złotowski of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group posed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission:
“Research by insurance companies has shown that the obligation on drivers to take a 45-hour rest outside the cab of their lorry is leading to an increase in cargo theft. Drivers have to leave their lorries to go to their accommodation, meaning that the vehicles are easy prey for thieves. Hauliers have discovered that even taking out insurance with the broadest coverage possible does not guarantee that the carrier will not be held financially liable in the event of theft. To avoid paying compensation, some insurance companies use exclusion clauses on the basis of which the merits of a claim can be challenged, for example if the driver was not in the vehicle when the theft took place.
In the light of the foregoing:
1. What steps has the Commission taken to adapt infrastructure in the EU in line with the new rules under which international road haulage drivers have to take rest outside the cabin of their vehicle?
2. Is the Commission monitoring the products and policies that insurance companies offer to international road hauliers, in particular with regard to exclusion clauses like those mentioned above, and is the Commission intending to bring in legislation in this area in order to protect hauliers’ interests?
3. In the light of the abovementioned problems arising from the obligation on drivers to take rest outside their cabs, should a report on the availability of suitable rest facilities and safe parking areas not be drawn up much earlier than 2024?”
On 28 January 2021, Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean responded on behalf of the European Commission stating: “The safety and security of parking areas is a matter of priority for the Commission, which is currently working on establishing standards and certification procedures for safe and secure parking areas including suitable rest facilities for drivers.
The creation of safe and secure parking areas is also encouraged through EU funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport.
During the last 2019 CEF call for proposals, the Commission decided to finance 11 projects for the development of 41 EU safe and secure parking areas in Europe. Other funds could be used too.
The Commission is not empowered to monitor private products and policies that insurance companies offer to international road hauliers. It is not planning to adopt a legal proposal in this regard.
On the basis of Article 8(a)(4) of the revised Regulation (EC) No 561/2006, the Commission is required to present a report by 31 December 2024.
This report should give an overview of suitable rest facilities for drivers and of parking areas certified in accordance with the delegated act on the standards for such parking areas, on which the Commission is working currently. In addition, this report may present measures to increase the number and quality of safe and secure parking areas.
Therefore the Commission considers it premature to come up with the report earlier than in 2024. Nevertheless, the Commission is monitoring the developments in the field, including raising awareness and assisting potential project promoters in preparing good project proposals for EU financing.
As required by the legislation, the Commission will publish a list of suitable parking areas on an official website as soon as such parking areas have been certified.”
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