SP and Labour Euro-MPs demand immediate action on truck drivers’ safety

29 August 2017

SP and Labour Euro-MPs demand immediate action on truck drivers’ safety

Foto: Diederik van der Loo

The safety of lorry drivers on European motorways is increasingly under pressure. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong and PvdA (Dutch Labour Party) MEP Agnes Jongerius today received a petition signed by 8,000 drivers which sounds the alarm bells. “It’s scandalous that national governments aren’t even doing anything about providing secured parking for trucks, while drivers are faced with increasing violence and criminality,” says De Jong. “The governments of the Netherlands, Belgium and France are together responsible for the major routes between our country and Calais, but are doing far too little. Today, as well as accepting the petition, Agnes Jongerius and I have also written to Dutch Infrastructure Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen and her Belgian and French counterparts urging them to meet urgently to discuss and take measures to guarantee drivers’ safety. These should include not only secured parking places but also an alarm line for drivers that really works, as well as the police and courts making it a priority to tackle incidents quickly and effectively.”

The petition was prompted by a fatal accident that occurred in Calais in June. “All drivers must be able to travel in safety from A to B in Europe” said Agnes Jongerius. “ And that’s why I’m fighting for safety on the roads. The member states need to stop looking the other way and take action. Because everyone has a right to a safe workplace.”

In their letter to the Transport Ministers, De Jong and Jongerius ask not only for improved enforcement, but also a reasonable approach when it comes to imposing fines on drivers found with undocumented migrants in their lorries, as well as a certain forbearance when it comes to enforcing driving- and rest periods. “As things stand, enforcement is carried out more effectively on the drivers than it is on the criminals who are putting their safety in jeopardy,” said De Jong. “I hope that together with the drivers and the haulage firms we can take a stand and send an effective message on this, so that the ministers will at last take action.”

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