There are lots of you and you are in action almost every day: almost 28,000 drivers who are subject to social security contributions work in Baden-Württemberg alone. You transport the goods that our society wants to have at its disposal in the shortest possible time. In so doing you form the backbone of a mid-size dominated branch of industry. For that you deserve first of all a big vote of thanks.
In future, too, the majority of goods will be transported by road, especially over shorter distances. Arriving safely, reaching a destination – that's what everybody wants. When hauliers, commuters and tourists all want to use the infrastructure at the same time, however, then traffic jams, losses of time and frustration are the result for everyone. On your journeys you find that truck drivers are all too often held responsible for many traffic problems.
That's why in my view an enhancement of the public's perception of the profession is the key to the solution. Although we politicians never grow tired of emphasising the concept of mutual consideration in all situations, fairness in traffic cannot be ordered – road users must develop it out of their own conviction. That works best when people with the same interests exchange views and unite. Only organised interests are also taken notice of.
So I find it all the more pleasing that there are initiatives such as DocStop e.V., in which people dedicate themselves under one roof to improving the working conditions of their colleagues. Your profession can place a great strain on your health in particular. Organising help quickly and unbureaucratically here can noticeably improve quality of life.
Politics will also make its contribution to improving the framework conditions of the profession. In Baden-Württemberg we will be hugely increasing the number of truck parking places along the federal highways in the next few years. We are working on concepts to control traffic more flexibly, to manage road works better and to avoid traffic jams. We are always aware of the concerns of drivers as a large and important group among the users of the traffic infrastructure, because we know how difficult your job is – and how important it is for the functioning of our industry and society.