According to the Journal of Commerce, the European Commission, the EU's executive agency, is expected to approve a proposal today that will ban all trucks from traveling on main trans-European highways for a 24-hour period every weekend. The restrictions would not apply to smaller roads.
Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio wants to harmonize the national restrictions across the 15-nation EU. Some countries, including Germany and France, have weekend bans, while others, such as Britain and Spain, do not.
Some of the nations don’t agree with De Palacio. Austria and Germany want to keep their tough national restrictions in place because they fear a compromise would result in more traffic and heavier road congestion.
The commission is also scheduled to make another attempt to bring truck drivers within the scope of a 1993 directive that limits working hours, and will also seek to impose mandatory rests for truckers, the article said.
Truckers were excluded from the original directive, but labor unions have been putting pressure on the EU to include the trucking industry in the scope.
De Palacio also plans to argue that owner-operators should temporarily be exempt from the measure, which will set a maximum 60-hour workweek and an average of 48 hours.
EU transport ministers are scheduled to discuss the two proposals next month, JoC reported.