|dc.description.abstract||This Report sets out trends and statistics covering the Member States’ inspection andenforcement activities during the period 1995-96 concerning the driving time, breaksand rest period provisions of Regulation (EEC) No. 3820/85. The Report is based onstatistics provided by the Member States and includes their views on implementation.All Member States submitted data to the Commission for the current period. Someonly did so following the threat of infringement proceedings. Austria and Italy, whichdid not make a return for the last report, provided data on this occasion, althoughAustria only did so for 1996. Unfortunately the Greek statistics were not forwarded ina suitable format for this report and could not be included. Generally there was someprogress in providing data in the standard form, nevertheless some Member States stillonly give total figures, and the returns made are still not uniform. This has once againdelayed the production of the Report, and has hindered a comprehensive and effectivecomparison.The statistics indicate that the overall number of offences detected has increasedagain, but the emphasis has changed. While there continues to be a downward trend interms of offences concerning rest periods from 41% in 1991-92 to 28% in 1995-96,there has been a corresponding rise in the overall percentage of offences relating tobreaks from 20% in 1991-92 to 29% in 1995-96 with a similar rise more recently interms of driving time offences and to a lesser extent concerning service timetable andduty rosters. Offences against driving time rules now represent the highest number ofinfringements. The statistics seem to reflect the increasing pressure on drivers to drivelonger than permitted and to ignore the minimum breaks provided in the Regulation.
The trend in the number of offences detected differs from country to country. In mostof the Member States the number of offences detected has increased (in Denmark,Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom),while in some it has decreased (Belgium, France, Ireland, Netherlands). Germanycontinues to report by far the highest number of offences detected (80% of alldetected offences), and also has the highest ratio of the total number of offencesdetected to the total number of working days checked, indicating a well-targetedenforcement practice.The number of enforcement checks also differs this time from country to country. Thenumber of checks rose again in the majority of Member States; in others, such asGermany, Luxembourg and Ireland it decreased – as these latter Member Statesalready easily surpass the minimum checking requirement, this reduction in checksdoes not run counter to their current Community obligations. Indeed, from thestatistics provided, all Member States except Portugal now meet the basic standard of1%, with Denmark, Germany and Spain continuing to maintain an enforcement rate ofover 2%.Member States have taken various initiatives. France has revised its penalties upwardsquite significantly. Immobilisation as a penalty is being used increasingly both inFrance and Germany. The Benelux enforcement agencies have taken severalinitiatives to promote a greater exchange of information and achieve a commonunderstanding of enforcement practice.