German state minister calls for driving time rules for vans

German state minister calls for driving time rules for vans

The interior minister of the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, Sabine Sütterlin-Waack, has called for the introduction of driving and rest time rules for van drivers in line with existing rules for lorries.

The minister’s call for action followed a rise in fatal collisions involving vans in the state in the past year.  More than one in three injury collisions in the state were caused by vans, according to reports.

Sütterlin-Waack says the issue will be on the agenda of a national meeting of interior ministers in June.

As ETSC reported one year ago, van drivers on international routes will need tachographs and to follow driving and rest time rules from July 2026, following a recent update to EU rules. But these new rules do not apply to vans driving within national borders.

In that case, national rules on working times and health and safety would apply, or Member States can introduce their own specific rules.  Enforcement is often lax, with many reports of drivers working long hours in stressful conditions, particularly as a result of the large increase in the number of home  deliveries which have come about in recent years – and even more so as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

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