Rest Periods in Trucks: How Truck Drivers Comply with the Law

The work of truck drivers is not only physically demanding, but also characterized by constant time pressure and a myriad of legal regulations that govern working hours and rest periods. As they cover mile after mile on the road, a crucial question arises: How can they organize their rest periods in compliance with the law? Sleeping in the cabin is a particularly hot topic that often raises uncertainties. In our article, we explore this issue in more detail.

Understanding the Cab Sleeping Ban for Truck Drivers

The cab sleeping ban, detailed in the Road Transport Act (FPersG), is designed to ensure truck drivers do not spend their mandatory weekly rest periods within their vehicle’s cab. This regulation aims to promote adequate rest and safety in road traffic. Violations of this ban can result in penalties for both the drivers and the vehicle owners, emphasizing the need to find proper sleeping arrangements outside of the truck.

Current Implementation and Its Impact

Implemented in 2021 and enforced across the EU, this regulation has significantly changed truck drivers’ routines by requiring them to spend their 45-hour weekly rest, typically over weekends, outside the vehicle’s cab. This is intended to address the suboptimal conditions at many rest stops and improve drivers’ rest quality, contributing to their overall alertness and road safety.

Who Does the Cab Sleeping Ban Affect?

The ban impacts all drivers who fall under the Road Transport Act, including technicians on truck-based assembly operations.

Who is Affected by the Cab Sleeping Ban?

The cab sleeping ban applies to all drivers who fall under the Road Transport Act (FPersG), including technicians on truck-based assembly operations.

Exceptions to the Cab Sleeping Ban

Vehicles with sleeping cabins: Drivers operating trucks equipped with sleeping cabins that meet the requirements of EU Regulation 561/2006 are allowed to spend their weekly rest period in the truck. However, this is to be understood as an absolute—not regular—exception, for instance in the following cases:

Unforeseen events: In unexpected circumstances, such as traffic jams or breakdowns, the rest period may be spent in the truck.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Ignoring the cab sleeping ban can lead to fines. Both drivers and vehicle owners are liable if the rest period is spent in the cab. The penalties are calculated based on the duration of the breach, emphasizing the serious financial implications of non-compliance.

Impact on Road Safety

The ban plays a crucial role in enhancing road safety by ensuring drivers are sufficiently rested. Well-rested drivers demonstrate better reaction times, reduced error rates, and improved management of on-road stresses, significantly lowering the risk of accidents.

Harmonization within the EU

As of 2022, the EU mandates that the weekly rest period must not be spent inside the truck, aiming to standardize conditions across member states. This regulation seeks to eliminate unfair practices such as wage dumping and exploitation, while improving the working conditions for truck drivers throughout the EU.


Janine Wolff
Get insights from Janine Wolff, a creative business economist and digital enthusiast. Combining economic expertise with a passion for logistics, Janine delivers top-notch content on a regular basis for Saloodo!.

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