EU parking safety resolution for truck drivers gets in the European Parliament. The initiative started from the case of the Romanian truck driver killed in France.

The motion for a resolution on the safety of truck parks in the EU was voted on at a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions (PETI) today. It was initiated by the Renew Europe group through USR MEP Vlad Gheorghe.

Actions at European level

Repeated attacks on truck drivers in EU car parks tragically culminated in the death of a Romanian in May. That triggered a series of actions at European level.

“At that time, I questioned the European Commission, the French authorities and the Romanian Consulate. I contacted the associations and groups of Romanian truck drivers. It was clear that we were talking about a phenomenon and not an isolated incident. After the Romanian drivers submitted a petition to the Commission with almost 25,000 signatures, I put the subject on the PETI agenda in record time and on July 15, the voice of Adriana Mureșan, the petitioners’ representative, was heard in the European Parliament “, explains Vlad Gheorghe.

“It is the merit of the drivers that they mobilized quickly and understood that they have this lever at their disposal. The presence in the Commission was essential. It is extremely important to listen directly to the citizens, to be able to answer your questions in real time and to provide as many details as possible. This explains the support for drivers and implicitly for the motion for a resolution from all political groups. A rather rare fact. At today’s meeting there were 31 votes for and only 1 against out of 32 MEPs present “, the Romanian MEP specified.

“For the same reason, I requested that a representative of EUROPOL attend the meeting of the Commission, and his explanations on theft of goods, fuel and attacks on drivers helped MEPs to be aware of the scale of the phenomenon,” Gheorghe said.

Motion for a resolution

The motion for a resolution is the next procedural step for the materialization of the petition submitted by the Association of Volunteers in Europe. It contains a number of requests to the European Commission and the Member States. Among them, the supplementation with 100 million euros of the funds allocated for parking safety (for services and for investments in parking lots).

“There is still a funding from the European Commission of 400 million euros for safe parking – calls for projects will be launched this winter,” said the USR MEP.

The proposed resolution also requires the European Commission to have a computer system for real-time monitoring of these car parks. Currently there are several variants developed by private entities.

Member States are being asked to increase security in red spots, in parking lots known for theft and violent attacks. Concrete aspects, patrol plans and emergency centers closer to motorway car parks are mentioned.

“Last but not least, we want the governments of the countries with the help of the European Commission to make available to drivers a multilingual emergency intervention package. One of the problems identified in the dialogue with drivers is the difficulty in reporting emergencies to local authorities. In a race, a driver crosses multiple states, he cannot know all the respective languages. But most emergency services operators are not fluent in a another language of European circulation “, explains Vlad Gheorghe.

Vote in the plenary of the European Parliament

Most likely, the resolution will come in the plenary of the European Parliament for a vote in the next plenary session in November. It has already the support of the majority of parliamentary groups in PETI. So it is possible that the resolution will enjoy a comfortable majority in the EP plenary.

With the adoption of the Mobility Package, the European Union is committed to ensuring certified and safe parking spaces for truck drivers to spend their rest time. But out of about 5,000 car parks, only 57 across the EU are truly safe. Another 550 could be modified to reach the desired standards with a minimum investment.

“The European Commission has an obligation to provide transport corridors for the freight service. A strategic service at any time and even more so in crisis situations. If there are blockages in the supply chain, the losses are enormous, prices are rising. The estimated need for drivers in the EU is at least 100,000 to ensure the rapid transport of food, medicine. As long as their safety is not guaranteed and working conditions will endanger them, it is natural that the lack of labor in road transport will be perpetuated, which directly affects European citizens in all Member States “, underlines the USR MEP, Vlad Gheorghe.

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