EU agrees on categorisation of offences

After years of debate, the EU Regulation on the categorisation of infringements against the various rules for professional transport has been finalised.

This provides a ‘level playing field’ for the enforcement of road transport law across the whole of the EU.

The full text has now been agreed in final draft form and will come into force as an EU Regulation on 1 January 2016.

Offences are categorised as Serious, Very Serious or Most Serious. An additional category of Minor offences is applied, but only for the purposes of the ‘enforcement’ directive 2006/22.

The categorisation will work alongside the new (not yet fully functional) European Register of Road Transport Undertakings (O-Licencing in Great Britain) with the objective of bringing all more serious infringements to the attention of national licensing authorities, such as the Traffic Commissioners (TCs) [pictured] in Great Britain, wherever in the EC they are detected.

Controversially, there is a formulaic relationship between the categories; so one Most Serious event should trigger the national procedure for examining good repute. Three very serious offences per driver per year should have the same effect. Three serious offences count as one very serious offence.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) says that it has proved very difficult to draw the line at which people’s actions become so obviously dangerous and unreasonable that they head straight for the most serious sanctions.

The CPT is aware of a recent case where a straightforward mistake (a driver inserted his tachograph card on top of a colleague’s) led to the commission of a Most Serious Offence which, when the system is fully functional, would lead to a TC having to justify why the company’s O-Licence should not be revoked.

Details Here