A few decades ago there was a standing term "concerted action". It matches exactly what happened at the aurach-nord rest stop: police, customs and the veterinary office of the city of erlangen checked trucks weighing more than 3.5 tons.
"Waves out especially trucks that look like they have a cow aggregate", thomas zwiener of the veterinary office calls out to police chief inspector willy eger. Eger and his young colleagues are responsible for directing vehicles to be inspected from the highway to the rest area. "Many more pass by than we accommodate here. That's why we have to choose, by feel and by experience", says eger.
A truck rolls into a parking bay, very carefully, because the lane is already quite narrow for two giant trucks. The inscription gives it away: gemusetransport from knoblauchsland. But there is nothing for the veterinarians to do here: the vehicle only transports empty crates back.
Right behind it comes a refrigerated truck from turkey. His cargo is frozen rainbow trout. While police officers check the papers of the vehicle and driver, the latter opens the cargo area. Zwiener sticks a thermometer between the packages and reads off: minus 24 degrees. His colleague, who speaks turkish, asks the driver if he knows all the regulations for transporting frozen goods. He confirms to her that turkey requires even some minus degrees more than in germany. The colleague enters the information and the results of the measurement in a form.
Like the erlanger, other veterinary offices also enter their data in this way during comparable inspections. According to zwiener, the data is then used to compile statistics on how the cold chain is secured in food transports through and within germany. Good! It is allowed to say so after the random tests at the resting place. No one was killed and no driver was found to be unaware of the regulations.
A small truck of sprinter class comes in. Because his load is sealed, the police call the veterinarians. Certainly a false alarm! It concerns a medicine transport with exact papers. A delivery for a chinese restaurant is the next case. Meat and vegetables are separate, but in between there is used packaging. "This can't be happening", explains zwiener. "Foodstuffs must be transported in such a way that they cannot affect each other. This also applies to other things in the car." and he immediately thinks of such unsightly things as insect larvae on the old cardboard. "So it happens that a guest finds half a cockroach in his salad", he says independently of the current control.
A dog for tobacco products
Customs dog ronja is led past by her keeper. "Breed curbstone" joke his colleagues as he takes the dog in his arms and climbs a ladder with it to the load e of the truck stopped next to it. Ronja has nothing to do with food. She specializes in tobacco products. Untaxed cigarettes are known to be a popular smuggled good. Upstairs, the dog slips cunningly between the various boxes and works his way to the front. After a while her master calls her back and carries her down again. Ronja has reported nothing suspicious.
Someone else joins this control group. Veterinarian annett raschke. Their speciality is transport with live animals. But she gets nothing to do on that day. Slaughter cattle outnumbered in their task. "But once we also had mouse. Laboratory mice", she says.
Another food transport from turkey. Temperature control again. Also in order. Zwiener notices only milk potion bottles that do not have a german label. Also nothing exciting, because they are not intended for a receiver in germany.
"A problem for us are sometimes trips from bulgaria to england. The operators of restaurants there buy food in their home country just as they do in supermarkets and load it up in such a motley fashion."
customs against illegal work
A dark car drives in the middle of the hummis. The light in his rear window reads: "police, please follow". At the wheel is simon denzler. He makes the "distance measurement from a moving vehicle". He is known for his regular checks on the local freeways, where he uses video recordings to check whether trucks are driving closer than the permitted 50 meters to other cars. "This applies to all vehicles over 3.5 tons traveling faster than 50 kilometers per hour. A verstob costs 100 euros", says denzler.
There is no sign of hecticness or excitement in the entire closed truck parking area of the rest area. The checks go on: vehicle documents are checked. Meanwhile, another policeman checks the condition of tires and brakes. In between the customs officers are called in. They are not primarily concerned with smuggling goods, but with unauthorized additional tanks for diesel and with people who work illegally. By the way, they found out that a professional driver was also receiving unemployment benefit II.
Something else was going on in parallel, reports operations manager christian deisel. A speed check. To guide out and above all the "pilots" to secure, a limitation was arranged before the rest stop entrance. In them "tappten 325 cars. 47 they disregarded so much, that a driving ban is necessary.