Help Print this page 
Title and reference
Road transport: EU rules on driving times, breaks and rest periods

Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.
Multilingual display
Text

Road transport: EU rules on driving times, breaks and rest periods

The organisation of working time for drivers carrying out road transport activities in the European Union can help improve road safety and the health and safety of drivers and ensure fair competition.

ACT

Directive 2002/15/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2002 on the organisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities

SUMMARY

The organisation of working time for drivers carrying out road transport activities in the European Union can help improve road safety and the health and safety of drivers and ensure fair competition.

WHAT DOES THE DIRECTIVE DO?

It sets out minimum rules for the organisation of working time for drivers supplementing the provisions of Regulation (EC) 561/2006 which lays down common rules on drivers’ driving times and rest periods.

KEY POINTS

The provisions of the directive apply to all ‘mobile workers’ in the service of a business established in an EU country to perform road transport activities. It also applies to self-employed drivers.

‘Working time’ includes:

driving;

loading and unloading;

helping passengers get on and off the vehicle;

cleaning and technical maintenance;

all other work related to the safety of the vehicle, passengers or cargo, as well as the carrying out of certain legal obligations directly related to a specific transport operation (such as customs formalities);

and any other time when the driver is considered to be on duty.

A maximum working week is set at 48 hours; however, this can be extended to 60 hours as long as an average of 48 hours per week is not exceeded over a 4-month period.

Drivers must not work more than 6 hours without a break. Such breaks must last no less than 30 minutes when a driver works between 6 and 9 hours in a day. This is in addition to the provisions of Regulation (EC) 561/2006 which sets a maximum driving limit of 4.5 hours without a break or rest.

The provisions of Regulation (EC) 561/2006 on rest are maintained by this directive. Drivers must take daily and weekly rest periods.

Where a night shift is worked, a maximum of 10 hours can be worked in any 24-hour period.

A 2014 Commission report analysed the implementation of the directive and regulation in 2011-2012. It found certain improvements in the application of the legislation. However the incompleteness and inconsistency of EU countries’ submissions prevented an in-depth analysis of the effect on road safety or on the health and safety of drivers. The Commission noted that it would launch a comprehensive evaluation of the functioning of social legislation in road transport.

BACKGROUND

A 2008 Commission proposal to modify the directive to exclude self-employed drivers and to enhance its enforcement was rejected by the European Parliament. The directive initially covered only mobile workers employed by a transport company. Since March 2009, it has covered all drivers who fall in the scope of the regulation on driving times, breaks and rest periods.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2002/15/EC

23.3.2002

23.3.2005

OJ L 80, 23.3.2002, pp. 35-39

RELATED ACTS

Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport and amending Council Regulations (EEC) No 3821/85 and (EC) No 2135/98 and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 - Declaration (OJ L 102, 11.4.2006, pp. 1-14)

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation in 2011-2012 of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport and of Directive 2002/15/EC on the organisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities (27th report from the Commission on the implementation of the social legislation relating to road transport) (COM(2014) 709 final, 21.11.2014)

last update 30.09.2015

Top