Minimum rest periods, maximum driving times or possible tampering with tachographs. All this was checked by the staff of the National Labor Inspectorate (NIP) from Slovakia and their colleagues from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine on the parking areas Podsuchá near Ružomberok and Kysucký Lieskovec near Žilina.
The NIP organizes joint international control every year. Representatives of neighboring states participate in it mainly because Slovakia is not only an important transit country, but often also a destination for transports from these countries. “We check breaks, minimum rest periods, maximum driving times, tachograph functionality, the correctness of a card belonging to a particular driver for tampering with the tachograph, for example using magnets or the like,” said Ján Trcka, Head of International Relations and Communications the Labor Inspectorate of the present journalists.
According to Pavel Bergman, Deputy Director for Inspection Activities of the Road Services Center in the Czech Republic, the advantage of joint inspections lies in uniform European legislation and essentially the same inspection procedures. “Joint inspections are good in that, in a single audit finding, inspectors can consult and share experience. What we do not know and cannot influence is another way and the level of punishment for offenses found in individual Member States,” Bergman noted.
Since the beginning of April 2019, a change in the amount of fines concerning social legislation in transport has been in force. “Until that date it was 165 euros for all offenses we found on the road, from that date it is 330 euros. Despite the increase, however, I must say that it still does not reach the level of fines, as is common in neighboring countries, such as Hungary and Poland. For every single offense they find, they can impose a separate fine,” Trcka explained, saying that in Slovakia they can impose a fine of 330 euros for all offenses they find comprehensively.
One of the main objectives of joint control has traditionally been the exchange of know-how from the performance of controls, the negotiation and unification of positions on the interpretation of individual provisions of European regulations, but also the mutual exchange of experience of labor inspectors. Inspections are carried out at the same time and, as a rule, about 50 trucks and buses are inspected by inspectors.