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08/09/2014
TRAFFIC LAWS: STRICT RULES FOR TRUCKERS

Road transport



The Strike Regulatory Authority applauds the associations of road transporters


Paolo Castiglia

Driving times and rest periods with sanctions proportionate to the seriousness of the offense, dismissal for truck and bus drivers for drinking and driving. The professional driver must not have a single beer during working hours. Anti-drug and alcohol certificates are required for license applications, professional qualifications and renewals. Drivers will be able to continue working up to 70 years of age (instead of 65), while convoys escorting oversize loads must be made up by specialized operators.
These are some of the news about professional transport contained in the Road Safety Decree Law approved by the Senate this morning. Now the measure will have to return to the Chamber of Deputy for the final go-ahead, the result of a lengthy mediation between the majority and the opposition.



Driving time. The recently approved amendment tabled by the government introduces a more gradual approach to driving times and rest violations for truck and bus drivers to a European Community regulation. According to the new scheme those not resting enough will be most adversely affected with fines ranging from 220 to 800 euro (plus the loss of 5 license points), while those stretching working hours for reasons related to traffic or the absence of parking areas will receive a fine ranging from 38 to 152 Euro (and the loss of 2-license points). Penalties increase as the overruns increase.



Dismissal. Can apply to the professional driver whose license is suspended for exceeding the blood-alcohol level.



No Drinking and Driving. It is a measure already introduced by the Chamber of Deputy that prohibits even a single glass of wine or beer while driving trucks and buses or coaches. In addition to a fine, the suspension of the license is also considered.



Alcohol and drug tests. Required for all types of driving license (B through D) and professional qualifications. The medical certificate that excludes dependence from alcohol and drugs must also be submitted with each renewal.

 

Behind the wheel at 70. The working life extension for professional drivers was recently approved by the Senate. Transport licenses may be renewed up to 70 years of age (instead of 65) with annual tests between 65 and 70 years of age.



Oversize loads. Green light for oversize loads escorted by professional operators. The Senate has adopted the request to remove traffic police from escorting such loads, thus streamlining procedures for this type of service. In our country, however, important questions remain open, such as possible interventions on the rules that relate to the costs of security, how to crack down on abusive forms of cabotage, the issue of the cost of labor, the new activities of the Register Committee to favor virtuous companies against those who operate outside the rules, interventions designed to promote combined transport, targeted controls and their implementation; the reduction of bans and possible interventions on cost reductions including excise tax.



The trucking industry through the sector’s associations, in general, request "protection for those who want to work in the transport sector as entrepreneurs and as such, obviously, have the goal of increasing the business and become bigger, not forgetting, however, smaller firms, those who, precisely because of their size and investment limits do not have a chance to grow too much, cannot compete and are often ousted from the rules of the free market. To these the country must, and not only in their own interest, offer the opportunity to carry on doing business with dignity and to do so a necessary mediation between the different companies, from small self-employed operators to the more structured companies, is needed ". To say this was Paolo Uggè, newly re-elected national president of Fai Conftrasporto.

During the meeting held at the Milan Fai offices, Uggè wanted to emphasize the need to curb at any cost " possible disintegration processes because, now more than ever, the category needs greater strength to better support our views and proposals, we therefore need to cement existing relationships". In the end there was also a positive report: the Strikes Regulatory Authority applauds the associations of road transporters for their mediation activities in what was a difficult year for the industry: it did so in last year’s activity report recently presented to the Senate. In the freight sector, the report explains, the associations have welcomed the directions of the Authority, exercising "the duty of supervision of its members, in order to persuade them to a more responsible conduct, in compliance to industry regulations." The Strikes Regulatory Authority, "against a total 36 strike declarations , had to intervene 11 times to report irregularities. Adherence to the Authorities’ provisions, however, was almost total, and was achieved through a suspension and / or adjustment of trade unions intents and / or associations of truck drivers in the case of road transport strikes ".

 



 

 

TRASPORTOUNITO (UNITED TRANSPORT) FOR LOGISTIC ON CORRIDOR 5

 

Trasportounito, together with the Italian Road Hauliers Consortium, has joined Koridor Europe, a consortium with participations from Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Ukraine and Spain, which has as its primary objective the development of the so-called “logistics path” related to the creation of corridor 5. As the only Italian partner of the project, which lies within the plans of the Ten-t network, Trasportounito cooperates with other European partners in the development of specific plans for logistic efficiency, aimed at streamlining the flow of freight transport, large scale distribution and supply for the manufacturing industry. “For Trasportounito – said secretary general Maurizio Longo – it is a further challenge to confirm our determination to play a role not only as trade union for the protection of road haulage, but also in planning in favor of our associated companies aimed at creating opportunities enabling Italian transport companies to grow and develop internationally”.

 




FUEL, AN UNBEARABLE BURDEN


“Italian citizens clearly perceive that they pay on average 26 cents and 25 cents more per litre respectively for petrol and diesel than in the rest of Europe almost exclusively for tax reasons”. The President of Assopetroli, Franco Ferrari Aggradi, said that the so-called safeguard clauses included in public finance measures have now been institutionalized: “these are last resort measures that use fuel taxes as a cash machine to smooth out, at worst, any unexpected revenue shortfall. In recent years there has been a slump in sales of fuel caused not only by the crisis but also by the unbearable increase of tax burden on fuels, including excise duties and VAT, which has exceeded the threshold of 60%”. Aggradi has also emphasized the fact that “since August 2013 rules have been enacted that, as of this year and until 2021, are likely to weigh on the pockets of Italian citizens for more than 2 billion Euro”.

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