ETF actions in defense of drivers’ breaks, rest time and road safety

23 Oct 2023

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) is taking a stand against the proposed revision of driving and rest time rules, which could compromise the safety and the welfare of bus and coach drivers across Europe.

The ETF Road Section Steering Committee convened in Brussels on 4th October to evaluate the Commission’s proposal concerning driving and rest time rules (Regulation (EC) No 561/2006) in the occasional passenger transport sector. Despite expressing our concerns to the Commission and the European Parliament multiple times, our voices have largely gone unheard among EU policymakers.

This lack of responsiveness leaves us with no choice but to take action. Beginning on 23rd October, we are launching an informative campaign aimed at passengers, bus and coach drivers, and the general public. Our objective is to raise awareness about the potential hazards associated with changes in driving and rest time rules within the sector.

Furthermore, we are committed to actively participating in every vote in the European Parliament. On 7 November, we will stage an action in Brussels, bringing unions from various countries. For us, any compromise that leads to longer working hours is a direct disregard for the well-being of our transport workers and European citizens.

We firmly believe that less than a year before the European elections, it is imperative for the European Parliament to demonstrate its role as an institution representing the interests of the people of Europe.

It’s essential to note that the bus and coach sector is already grappling with a high incidence of driver fatigue and an unprecedented driver shortage. Increasing working hours and reducing break intervals will not make this profession more appealing and will only exacerbate fatigue.

For more information and detailed statistics on working conditions and driver fatigue in the bus and coach industry, please refer to the attached facts and figures document.