By Silvio Faggi, Vice President Albo Nazionale Autotrasportatori
The most difficult challenge of these years is posed, without a doubt, by the comparison with other European companies. In this sense, Europe is still traveling at different speeds, with different costs and conditions. In a sector such as road transport this leads to social dumping, unfair competition, barely legal solutions and distortions that are difficult to reverse. After the eastward expansion and with road transport opening up to international haulage, trucks with foreign number plates are becoming more and more numerous on Italian motorways. Our road transport companies are well aware of this fact. Every day, they are forced face the unfair competition by the many foreign companies that transport goods across our territory – the lack of tax harmonization between the different European countries makes it more convenient to use these carriers irregularly. According to an estimate by Transportounito, drivers with foreign driving licences account for 20% of all the circulating drivers. According to a study carried out by the Albo degli Autotrasportatori and the World Road Association (AIPCR), more than 60% of the trucks that cross the Alpine passes have a non-Italian number plate: the most numerous are Romanian ones, but there are also high percentages of Croatian, Slovenian and Turkish trucks. quite common today, were to be used and interconnected through an adequately structured public platform, we would be able to seriously and constantly monitor not only the position and routes of heavy trucks, but also the flows and the quality of goods being transported within the EU, the regularity of vehicles and of the drivers’ working conditions. In this way, total control would be established with the aim of ensuring full compliance with the rules and safety standards which carriers are being asked to violate more and more often, to the sole benefit of customers. But there is more. The police forces themselves could be promptly notified whenever vehicles in the vicinity violate driving times, breaks, rest periods or the rules of the Traffic code. They would also be able to obtain real-time information about the most frequently used roads, or keep under control the traffic flows on those bridges and viaducts whose structure might collapse if overburdened. The pilot project approved by the Transport Commission in Brussels under the name of “GNSS Monitoring System for heavy vehicles”, largely a result of the efforts by Ms Daniela Aiuto as a member of the European Parliament, goes in this direction. The idea is to equip every freight transport vehicle in Europe with satellite monitoring devices managed by a single European central unit, capable of tracking and controlling, through an advanced GPS system, the haulage of goods by means of heavy trucks. The aim is to make roads safer for every driver, to put up a fierce fight against illegal haulage, to combat criminals which often use heavy trucks for illicit traffic, and finally to reduce pollution in terms of CO2 emissions.