Truck driving in the times of Corona: changed and loosened regulations

From the lifting of the Sunday driving ban for trucks to temporarily loosened driving and rest times: Martina Habeck summarizes current changes and easing of regulations that result from the Corona crisis.

Many thanks to all logisticians!!

Here you can usually read interesting news or important changes in the area of ​​commercial freight transport. Now I want to use this way to say THANKS to all drivers, transports, warehouse staff, freight forwarders, shippers and many more. In times of crisis, it is extremely important for all citizens that the essential goods reach their destination. Not only food (and toilet paper), but also medical equipment reaches the hospitals, medical practices, laboratories, nursing homes and old people’s homes across the street. In order to continue to ensure this smooth process, the framework conditions must be right and  facilitated at the appropriate points.

The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure provides the following information:

  • The BMVI coordinated the lifting of the Sunday driving ban for trucks with the federal states,
  • Temporarily loosened driving and rest times for the transport of selected goods, including fuel, medical products, food, always with a view to road safety
  • The BMVI is in close contact with neighboring European countries to ensure unhindered cross-border freight traffic, especially with regard to the situation at borders and workers (truck drivers)
  • The federal states were asked to set up a separate lane for goods traffic at the border crossings on the motorways for the transport of goods for the field of medical care and daily needs.
  • The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has asked the federal states to provide food and rest at the rest areas along the motorways. This affects exceptions to opening times.
  • Facilitations in the field of cabotage (domestic German transports by a foreign company) for the transport of certain goods, e.g. fuel, medical products, food
  • Flexibility in the necessary further education and training measures so that all drivers who have been allowed to drive so far can continue to do so.

Adjustments to driving and rest times:

The exception extends to the following deviations from the social regulations in road traffic:

  • The daily driving time may be extended to ten hours a maximum of five times a week.
  • A driver can take two consecutive reduced weekly rest periods, provided that he takes at least four weekly rest periods in four consecutive weeks, at least two of which must be regular weekly rest periods.

In order to ensure nationwide coverage of the population, please also apply the exception within the framework of the opportunity principle analogously to vehicles between 2.8 and 3.5 tons GVW, whose drivers are required to comply with the driving and rest time provisions of Art. 6 to 8 of Regulation (EC) No. 561/2008 are bound and carry out the following transportations:

  • Everyday goods, especially food and feed, between production, storage and sales locations,
  • Goods for medical care as well as for the containment, control and management of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (in particular also products for the analysis of the infection, protective equipment relevant to infection, disinfectants etc.) or fuels.

This exception is initially valid until April 17, 2020 and may only be used on the condition that traffic safety is not impaired by the use. In particular, it must be checked before the start of a journey whether the driver is able to carry out the intended transportation.


Furthermore, according to the BMVI, there are reliefs in the area of ​​dangerous goods transport law:

Due to the restrictions in public life to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be difficulties in complying with individual requirements of the dangerous goods transport law. Training certificates for dangerous goods drivers and dangerous goods officers cannot be renewed or extended due to the cancellation of training measures. By signing a multilateral agreement, training certificates can be used for a transitional period, the validity of which ends between March 1 and November 30, 2020. Another multilateral agreement enables the continued use of tanks and dangerous goods vehicles if the dates for the periodic inspection or the intermediate inspection have been exceeded or the vehicle registration could not be extended.

In addition, of course, always and everywhere applicable: keep your distance. Even though it is not always easy, for example, at rest areas or when unloading, it is the most important measure that we can currently take.

Stay healthy!

Martina Habeck

The department for road safety of police Münster informs drivers of commercial goods and persons free by sending regular “information-mails”. We will keep you up-to-date on news and changes in the social rules (driving and rest periods). Information on digital recording equipment, cargo securing and anything that might be important to you, we will pass on to you.
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