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Supreme Court of Denmark

The Regulation on driving time and rest periods – the ferry rule 
15-04-2014 

Case no. 4/2014
 

Judgment delivered on 15 April 2014.


The Public Prosecutor
vs.
T1
and
T2


Assessment of infringement of the Regulation on driving time and rest periods to be based on application of the ferry rule

When driving a lorry for the transport company T2 in May 2012, T1 had not taken a regular daily rest period in accordance with the Regulation on driving time and rest periods. The case concerned whether the assessment of T1's infringement should have taken account of the fact that he had applied the so-called "ferry rule" in Article 9(1) of the Regulation.

It was not contested that the conditions for applying the ferry rule in Article 9(1) of the Regulation had been satisfied, as T1 interrupted the rest period twice for a total of 50 minutes and had access to a bunk or couchette. At the end of the relevant 24-hour period, T1 had only rested for 8 hours and 34 minutes, which meant that, according to Article 9(1), he lacked 2 hours and 26 minutes of rest to satisfy the requirement in Article 8(2) of the Regulation of a rest period of at least 11 hours within the 24-hour period (corresponding to approx. 22%).

The Supreme Court held that T1's infringement had to be assessed taking account of the fact that he had taken an uninterrupted rest of 8 hours and 34 minutes, which meant that he lacked 2 hours and 26 minutes of rest relative to the regular daily rest period of 11 hours. T1 was fined DKK 2,500.00, while the claim for conditional disqualification of his driving licence was dismissed. T2 was fined DKK 4,500.00.

The High Court had come to a different conclusion regarding T1.

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