Member of European Parliament asks about Danish parking restrictions

Date: 17, July 2018
In a written question to the Commission, the Hungarian MEP Andor Deli (EPP) has asked if the new rules for time-restricted parking's are in-line with EU rules. The MEP is referring to the new rules on restrictions for how long trucks can park at state-owned rest areas on the motorway network in Denmark.

The new rules follow a political agreement that aimed to tackle capacity-issues as well as ensuring that rest areas are not used for camping-like stays. In the press release from the Danish Ministry of Transport in February 2018 it is stated that “today there are challenges in the rest areas along the highway network that especially truck drivers in the long-term are parked long-term. It creates camping-like conditions at rest areas.”

The press release continues: “With a 25-hour parking limit, lorry drivers will have sufficient flexibility to hold their so-called reduced weekly rest in 24 hours while responding to the long-term problem that is not suitable for spending on a resting place.”

The Danish minister of transport Ole Birk Olesen commented in February 2018 that, he is “….pleased that we have found a model that prevents camping-like conditions, while meeting a number of the worries and practical challenges that the industry has put forward. Basically, I do not mean that it is the state's duty to provide free facilities to solve the long-term needs of the trucking industry. I see here a task that the industry as a whole must help to lift as it is not fair for truck drivers to live and spend days on the Danish motorway backdrops.”

The time-limited parking will be accompanied by higher parking fines for lorries that exceed the time limit or park illegally on the state and municipal roads, as well as on ramps and off ramps. It must ensure proportionality throughout the road network. At the same time, it should prevent an increased incentive to search away and park illegally on the other road network. In fact, the overall level of fines for illegal parking is raised from 510 DKK to approx. DKK 2,000, while on the ramp and exit ramps are raised from DKK 1,000 to approx. 3,000 kr.

With the a Finance Law Agreement between the government and supporting parties, separate means have been allocated for the effective enforcement of the parking restriction that the Road Directorate assumes responsibility for from the police. In this way, police capabilities are relieved to solve other tasks that only the police can solve. It will continue to be the police who are in charge of the control of parking on and off to the highway, and it will remain the responsibility of the police to enforce the ban on 45-hour rest in the truck.

The model includes all 90 state highway intersections when the agreement is fully rolled out. The time-limited parking is expected to come into force on July 1, 2018, while the raised fine will have to be fixed by a legislative amendment, which is expected to come into force on 1 January 2019.