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Importantly, these inspections are part of a broader effort to not only ensure compliance with the law, but also to create a level playing field in the transportation sector.

Alarming results during joint road transport inspections carried out on road freight transport in the Benelux. The Dutch Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) and the Belgian Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport worked together to assess compliance with various regulations in the transport sector. The shocking outcome: almost a third of the trucks checked were in violation.

The checks were carried out on both sides of the border. In the Netherlands, the ILT focused on the Venlo area, while the Belgian authorities were active in Zonhoven and Fernelmont. The inspections focused on various aspects, such as compliance with driving and rest times, correct use of the tachograph and possession of the required documents. The combined inspection results of 49 trucks revealed 34 violations, with 16 trucks in violation.

26 trucks were inspected in the Netherlands. 13 violations were found, which resulted in 8 reports and 7 fines. These ranged from violations of the cabotage rules to driving with an expired code 95, a mandatory refresher course for professional drivers. More serious were the cases where trucks were caught with technical defects, such as a broken brake disc that had to be replaced on the spot before the driver was allowed to continue on his way.

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The significant numbers of violations in recent inspections raise questions about the effectiveness of current enforcement mechanisms. With reports ranging from technical defects to fraud and violations of driving and rest times, it appears that there is room for improvement on several fronts. It also appears that the current control systems, despite their strictness, are not yet a sufficient deterrent.

The Belgian Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport inspected 23 vehicles, three of which were in violation. These violations included fraud and incorrect use of the tachograph. Here too, drivers were caught violating driving and rest times.

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These joint inspections have been made possible by the Benelux Treaty of Liège from 2014, which allows inspection services to cooperate cross-border. According to the parties involved, this collaboration helps to more equalize the enforcement of European regulations in the transport sector. This is not only conducive to fair competition between transport companies, but also to better working conditions for drivers and road safety in general.

The results of these recent control actions expose a major problem in the transport sector. The fact that a significant percentage of trucks checked were in violation underlines the need for further cooperation and stricter enforcement in road freight transport.

Photo: Benelux control © ILT

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