At night on the A 3 highway near Düsseldorf: priority truck checks are now carried out continuously in NRW.
At night on the A3
The police focus on regular night-time checks of freight traffic. The driving and rest times, the technical condition of the vehicles and the securing of the freight are checked.
Streife editorial team

It's cold. It is raining. It is dark. There are more pleasant places than the Stindertal parking lot between Mettmann and Hilden. Trucks thunder down the A 3 highway towards Cologne. Just like every night, just like every day. 16,000 trucks drive along here. North Rhine-Westphalia is a transit state. According to a forecast by the Federal Ministry of Transport, commercial passenger traffic will increase by 13 percent and freight traffic by 39 percent by 2030. This harbors dangers. Serious accidents occur time and again, especially at the ends of traffic jams.

Patrol cars pull in front of trucks on the highway this evening. "Please follow" is written on the illuminated sign at the rear. Stop in the brightly lit parking lot. Police officers in bright yellow clothing carry out the checks. "It can take anywhere from half an hour to several hours," says Carsten Gesthüsen, Head of Department at the North Rhine-Westphalia State Office for Central Police Services (LZPD NRW).

This is the first time that a large-scale truck check has taken place at night. The Cologne and Düsseldorf police headquarters are active at two locations on the A3. Interior Minister Herbert Reul is on site. "You save lives with your work," he says, "a truck with a tired driver at the wheel is a rolling time bomb." There have been serious accidents involving trucks for years. One major problem: fatigue. Reul: "If you drive at night, you're tired during the day. And those who are tired react more slowly." That's what makes night-time checks so important. District police authorities with freeway police must now carry them out at least once a month, as stipulated by a decree from the Ministry of the Interior.

Violations of driving and rest times, the general technical condition of the vehicles and the securing of the load are checked. Gesthüsen: "There is enormous pressure to perform and meet deadlines in the industry. The drivers have to manage this somehow."

The inspection of dangerous goods transports is a case for special forces. Georg Leurs from the highway police in Moers has been doing this for 20 years: "You can't just do a truck check that quickly." To be an absolute professional in this field, you need at least five years of experience. "There's so much to pay attention to," he says.

Translated with (API Version)
In urgent cases: Police emergency number 110