Lack of secure parking lots affects the drivers welfare

Closed parking lots around Europe due to organized criminality and lack of secure parking's are affecting the drivers welfare and safety.

On February 6-7, NLA participated on a workshop dealing with organized criminality and secure parking lots with other stakeholders from European Commission, national road agencies, hauliers, police, border force and secure parking organisations. The purpose was to exchange experiences and improve the situation for all concerned by this matter.

Due to organized criminality, like human trafficking of migrants, several parking lots around hotspots in Europe have been closed at night-time for lorries. The closure of parking lots harms the driver’s welfare. Additionally, it was stated that drivers do not feel safe if they are staying too long in one place. As a result, drivers are not resting as they should, but instead guarding their cargo. It is therefore getting more challenging for truck drivers to take their rest time and puts them in a lot of pressure, which again can result in road safety issues. The main issue remains unresolved, as there is still a lack of founding for secure quality parking’s, lack of police capability and still no effective solution on organized criminality and stowaways.

At the end of the workshop, the different stakeholders came up with some measures that could be taken in order to improve the situation.

  • It was stressed that giving traffic information in advance and at the right place about secure and quality parking lots, perhaps explained with symbols would be a good way to go to improve the driver’s welfare and safety.
  • More parking’s should be specialized for trucks only, with good capacity, security patrols and route corridor based.
  • The situation for road authorities and the police as well as other stakeholders could be improved with better data sharing (traffic data, cameras, recording devices).
  • It was also underlined that awareness building and training on a regular basis may have an impact on driver’s behavior and consciousness.
  • National road agencies could go from care taking infrastructure to also provide service to the police officers, becoming traffic officers.

“NLA welcomes the focus on the safety and security for driver and vehicle. For the internal market to function the fundamental freedoms are not sufficient, without the feeling of safety, security and well-being”, comments Marte Halvorsen, NLA, who participated in the workshop. “It is clear that we alone cannot solve this issue. We need cooperation between authorities – both nationally and cross-border – and we need responsible actions from hauliers, drivers, insurance companies, shippers and other links in the transport chain. Then we can hopefully reduce this problem and create more safe and secure environment for road transport in the EU”.