On December 20, 2017, the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union which confirmed that drivers may not take the regular weekly rest periods (45 h) in the vehicle cabin, was published.
In response to a question referred for a preliminary ruling by the Belgian State Council (in Case C 102/16), the Court confirmed that the penalties imposed for taking regular weekly rests in the vehicle are in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 561/2006/EC and may be enforced by the enforcement authorities. According to the Belgian tariff, the penalty for regular weekly rest in the vehicle is EUR 1 800.
An important part of the Court’s judgment:
„47 In that regard, while Regulation No 561/2006 does not contain any provision expressly governing the way in which a vehicle driver must take his regular weekly rest period but notices such as those presented by Vaditrans and the Estonian Government cannot justify obeying the mandatory rules of that regulation concerning drivers’ rest periods (as the Advocate General observed in point 62 of his Opinion).
48 In the light of all those notices, the answer to the first question referred is that Article 8(6) and (8) of Regulation No 561/2006 must be interpreted as meaning that a driver may not take the regular weekly rest periods referred to in Article 8(6) in his vehicle.”
The full text of the judgment is available here.
The Netherlands already reacted to the announcement of the EU Court of Justice, officially announcing the initiation of checks and penalties for taking weekly rest periods in the vehicle.
The Dutch authority (ILT) started by informing the drivers that it is not allowed and of the possible consequences. For this purpose, a special information leaflet was created (click on the image below for a full view)
Until now, the Dutch authorities have not been certain whether they can ban staying in the vehicle cabin under the current provisions of Regulation 561/2006/EC. The CJEU judgment left no doubt that this prohibition can be enforced. In the Dutch tariff, the penalty for taking weekly rest in the cabin of the vehicle is EUR 1 500.
Read more in the official communication.