The upcoming road initiatives from the Commission should provide a boost to the transport sector sustainability, fairness, safety and innovation, say MEPs in a resolution adopted on Thursday.
“The issues road transport faces need to be firmly addressed by the Commission in its forthcoming proposals: among these, decarbonisation of transport and unfair competition between European companies and workers are of utmost urgency” said Karima Delli (Greens/EFA, FR), Chair of the Transport and Tourism Committee, who tabled the resolution on behalf of the committee.
Preparing the future of road mobility
The road initiatives should foster technological development in the sector, say MEPs and urge the sector to embrace the opportunities of digitalisation.
The Commission should provide for a suitable regulatory framework for connected and automated driving as well as for new collaborative business models.
The quality of work in road transport needs to be addressed to make it more attractive for young people to enter the profession to deal with the shortage of professional drivers, they add.
Boost enforcement and clarify rules on cabotage and driving time
The varying interpretations of EU rules and enforcement practices result in abusive practices or circumvention of existing legislation, and unfair competition and exploitation of workers, MEPs say.
Different national rules on social conditions and rights also create considerable barriers for the operators, MEPs add.
They want the EU member states to step up checks on compliance with driving and rest times and cabotage rules and call the Commission to simplify and clarify cabotage rules to ensure better enforcement.
The number of “empty running” trucks is high and is caused by the current restrictions on cabotage operations, MEPs say, but reject the notion of unlimited cabotage operations within a certain number of days.
The Commission should speed up mandatory use of smart tachographs and review the rules on the right of establishment in order to eradicate “letterbox” companies, and clarify the application of the provisions of the posting of workers directive in the transport sector, MEPs say.
Decarbonisation of road transport
MEPs urge the Commission to help speed up transition from traditional fossil-fuel powered vehicles to electric-powered vehicles and call for effective national policy frameworks to stimulate wider uptake of alternative fuel vehicles.
The Commission should create a framework which will avoid fragmented charging schemes for passenger cars across the EU, MEPs say. They stress that a coherent road charging system should be proportionate to the use of the road.
They also want the Commission to come up with guidelines to ensure implementation of “user pays” and “polluter pays” principles and ambitious proposals for CO2 standards for trucks and buses.
Improving road safety
MEPs stress the need to improve safety on EU roads to reach the target of halving road deaths and injuries by 2020 and call on the Commission and member states to adopt an EU wide target for reducing serious road injuries.
They call on the Commission and EU countries to address driver fatigue, so that legislation on rest breaks is respected and investment in road infrastructure also includes improving facilities for the drivers. The Commission should run an EU-wide study on the effects of driver fatigue in bus and coach transport and freight transport by vans and trucks, they add.
Procedure: non-legislative resolution
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