Frustrated German traffic officers. "We lack laptops to inspect trucks"
German journal "Nordkurier" writes about the frustration of the police, which, during inspections has their hands tied due to hardware deficiencies. The officers in the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania land do not have enough laptops which would allow them to inspect traffic violations such as tachograph manipulation more successfully.
Truck traffic in Germany is growing from year to year. It is no different in the land of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania with main routes between Poland and Scandinavia – federal roads 104, 108 and 110.
The number of trucks is higher on them, particularly after 10 p.m. on Sundays. Convoys consisting of up to 7 vehicles are driving through the region. It's easy to guess that increased traffic is a higher risk of accidents and unfortunately on these routes they happen more often.
Although police should intensify checks in the most critical points, the truck drivers rarely see patrols in the so-called Mecklenburg Switzerland. The reason is not that the roads are too narrow or that there is not enough space to carry out the usual activities by the officers, although it is also an important factor. The main problem is that the traffic officers do not have equipment which would allow for the detection of offences associated primarily with the manipulation of tachograph.
Some colleagues were bringing their own laptops to work. Now nobody does it anymore" – says one of the Meklenburg traffic officers in the interview for Nordkurier. "Nobody wants to put their equipment at risk. Actually, I'm not able to check what speed the truck I just stopped was driving at. It's frustrating" - he adds.
According to the police commissioner in Malchin (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) Steffen Bühring, to receive the equipment for such inspections the officers should, if necessary, ask the motorway police or the BAG office. As Bühring says sarcastically, hardly any driver breaking the rules tells the police that they will be travelling nearby...
BAG also cannot keep up with inspections
The problem of the institution is, however not the lack of proper equipment but shortage of personnel. Even before the introduction of the prohibition to spend the 45-hour pause in the truck cabin by Germany the industry media and unions pointed out that effective inspections cannot be carried out.
BAG (German Federal Office for Freight Transport), the most important institution which supervises the road transport, employs just 240 officers. This number has not increased for several years.
The number of inspections carried out by BAG is constantly decreasing – in 2014 it decreased by 16.5% compared to year 2012. According to the BAG spokesperson the decrease is caused by the increased complexity of carried out inspections which is necessary as the tricks used by unscrupulous companies are becoming more and more difficult to detect.
While introducing the ban on sleeping in the cab the federal government did not take into account the fact that unfortunately BAG cannot keep up with their current tasks and added another one creating a sort of a "dead rule".
This usually happens when politicians, instead of common sense follow the blind desire to exclude Eastern European carriers from the European market.