Finland: enforcement operation reveals increase in misuse of truck driver hours regulations

Published Wed, 02/03/2016 - 11:17

Police across Finland conducted a special control operation with a focus on heavy traffic between 15 and 21 February 2016. The operation, carried out nationwide, resulted in sanctions for 452 drivers of vehicles of domestic origin, and 85 drivers of foreign vehicles.

 “Most violations involved the misuse of driving hours and rest periods; of these, 298, or 13 per cent of the stopped drivers, were subject to sanctions,” says Chief Superintendent Kari Onninen of the National Police Board.

The number of cases was slightly higher year-on-year. In last year's enforcement operation, the corresponding percentage was 10.6.

A fine was issued for inadequate securing of load in 64 cases, while in 72 cases the reason for a fine was the deficient condition of the vehicle. In four cases, the journey was completely interrupted.

“Based on this sample, the condition of vehicles seems to have improved somewhat from last year,” adds Chief Superintendent Onninen.

The special traffic safety theme in control operations is driver distraction, i.e. factors that result in inattention among professional drivers, such as mobile phones, tablets and obstacles in the field of vision etc. A total of 49 penalties were issued for offences in this category.

In all, 2,292 heavy vehicles, 1,923 of domestic and 369 of foreign origin, were inspected during the operation.

The police focussed on compliance with regulations regarding driving hours and rest periods, the loading of vehicles and their technical condition – themes based on which previous control operations have revealed the most deficiencies and violations.

The enforcement operation was part of the European Traffic Police Network TISPOL's Europe-wide Truck & Bus enforcement theme.