Drivers’ hours infringement causes one in 10 accidents

There can be several reasons for exceeding the allowed driving time. Drivers may be too tired to notice their service hours are about to end or have already ended. Also, when they have to stop, they could be passing a road section where they cannot, like those carrying valuable goods and are only allowed to stop in guarded parking lots. Dispatchers often miss to notify the driver or simply miscalculate the time needed to complete a given transport job, or unforeseeable events may occur on the way. The fierce competition on the forwarding market sometimes pushes hauliers to accept transport orders under terms that predestine the possibility of violations.

‘In Europe, the maximum driving time and the compulsory rest periods per day, week and fortnight are governed by the so-called. AETR Agreement (Accord Européen sur les Transports Routiers). The agreement also determines penalties in due detail; an example worth mentioning is that a 90-minute infringement of drivers’ hours carries a fine of 400,000 HUF (over 1,300 EUR). The so-called tachograph is used for recording driving times and rest periods. There have been strict controls on Western European roads for years, and also in Hungary, owners of vehicles obligated to use a tachograph must count on more thorough and stricter controls recently.’ – said Bagossy Tamás, managing director of WebEye Hungary.

An important aspect is that employers too are held responsible for drivers’ infringement. The prevailing regulation acknowledges the principle of shared responsibility of the whole transport chain, inclining all participants of the chain to plan the transport job with due care.

What can help prevent drivers’ hours infringement?

  • Optimal planning of routes, according to time, distance, the traffic characteristics of the route and the transport job.
  • Detailed plan of stop locations, along with a backup plan for unexpected events or in case something slows down progress.
  • Planning realistic tasks, with the allocation of proper vehicles and transit times.
  • Efficient transport planning, planning the given transport job so that the lowest possible cost and highest possible revenue is achieved, but not by overexploiting resources.
  • Training drivers, since it is important for them to understand why they must obey the rules and motivate them accordingly. Instead of overworking, they should perform their duties according to the rules and take care of their health to become valued employees.

‘A developed GPS-based telematics system monitors all the above automatically and does not rely on individual responsibility but uses the information to help those concerned. Fleet tracking systems automatically monitor the driving time per driver, measure and record the data. Moreover, they help organize and fulfil orders through current traffic information, significantly reducing possible idle times, when drivers are sitting behind the wheel, spending their driving hours but cannot actually proceed on the given road stage. It offers a solution for the problem of over-resting, too: the dispatcher can notify the drivers when the rest period is over and they shall resume. Routes can be saved, which is useful in planning the time needed for completing the transport job. The route planner option helps further refine the route and the needed time’ – said Bagossy Tamás, managing director of WebEye Hungary.