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 Full text 
Monday, 14 January 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Use of vehicles hired without drivers for the carriage of goods by road (debate)

  Theresa Griffin, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, on behalf of Lucy Anderson, hired vehicles are an important and growing part of the EU road transport sector and one that touches on a range of public policy.

This plenary has already taken an initial view on the revision of the law on hired vehicles, but it is right now that we reconsider the matter urgently, not least in the light of the controversial mobility package proposals. We must put safety, environmental concerns and consideration for truck drivers at the top of our list of priorities for this sector.

The S&D has tabled a number of important amendments and these are supported by many MEPs from other political groups. Despite repeated attempts to find compromise solutions on issues such as the training of drivers, the environmental impact of hired vehicles or on the level of liberalisation of the market, the rapporteur has shown little willingness, I’m afraid, to accommodate different views, leaving us with a weaker text.

I would urge everyone to support our amendments in the vote tomorrow in order to tackle the deficiencies of the proposal and provide a good basis for negotiations with the Council. It is essential that we ensure that hired vehicles are in compliance with the most applicable emission limits laid down in Union law.

In the light of safety considerations and different circumstances in the Member States, it is right they should be allowed to decide whether or not to continue hiring restrictions on the heaviest goods vehicles.

We strongly urge support for a sensible amendment to ensure that drivers receive the necessary information for using hired vehicles. Penalties applicable for infringements of this directive should be adequate, effective and dissuasive.

And finally, breaches of the law regarding hired vehicles should be regarded as serious infringements of EU road transport legislation, leading to potential action being taken against the licences of infringing transport operators. Given these concerns, Madam President, the S&D Group cannot support the current text if it remains unamended.

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