Amendments to Drivers Rest Periods Agreed


(Reuters) – European Union countries adopted new rules for truck drivers’ working conditions on Tuesday, despite several countries calling for the reforms to be halted to help support vulnerable transport firms amid the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new rules need a final sign-off by the European Parliament before they take effect after majority of EU member states and the bloc’s lawmakers struck an early deal in December.

“The new rules are designed to ensure a balance between improved working and social conditions for drivers and the freedom to provide cross-border services for operators, and will also contribute to road safety,” the EU’s Brussels headquarters said in a statement.

The new rules will force trucks to return to home countries every eight weeks, will give drivers the right to return home every four weeks, and require drivers to spend rest periods outside their vehicle – with employers shouldering the cost of accommodation.