Inability to find a parking space and the possibility of invoking Art. 12 of the Regulation (EC) 561/2006
According to Article 12 of the Regulation (EC) No. 561/2006, the driver is permitted to derogate from the regulations set out in Articles 6 to 9, in order to find a suitable stopping place provided that the safety of persons, of the vehicle and of its load is ensured and that road safety is taken into account.
According to the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court of 24 February 2015, the derogation mentioned in Article 12 is justified by “abnormal difficulties, independent of the will of the driver and apparently unavoidable that may not be anticipated, even if all due care is taken. The Article does not authorize the driver to derogate from the Regulation for reasons known before the journey commenced”.
A similar ruling was issued by the European Court of Justice, which states that Article 12 does not exempt hauliers from the obligation to foresee regular traffic jams, weather conditions and access to adequate parking places on busy routes.
It is clear, then, that drivers who invoke the exception mentioned in Article 12 to justify deviations from driving time limits caused by the lack of parking place do so inappropriately and misinterpret the exception.