The ETF and FEVR, the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims, launched today a joint statement to express their concerns vis-à-vis the impact of potential changes in driving and rest time limits for bus and coach drivers throughout Europe. The European Commission intends to reduce their weekly rest and increase their weekly driving time. These measures would be included in the upcoming Road Initiative, a package of legal proposals targeting the EU road passenger and freight transport.
“Any changes to EU Regulation 561/2006, in driving and rest time limits, will bring bus and coach drivers to the brink of exhaustion. In international coach transport, due to a derogation to the EU rules, drivers spend already 324 days per year behind the wheel, leaving them with almost no time to rest and be with their families. Adding more driving and working time to this will simply increase the risk for accidents involving buses and coaches!” says Alain Sutour, Chair of the Passenger Working Group of the ETF Road transport section.
The ETF and FEVR intend to work closer together and set up a driver and passenger community, a way to exchange views on road safety and quality of service in bus and coach transport. A possible calendar of meetings, school visits and more will soon be discussed at the next ETF – FEVR meeting.
“I do not want to leave my job as a bus driver! I love my job. I like to work with people, and I like to drive. But what the EU Commission wants to do with our driving and rest hours will turn us into hazards.” said a Belgian bus driver after a meeting with the European Commission organised in February by the ETF.
FEVR will be invited to a bus and coach driver meeting to be held parallel with the 5th ETF Congress, in Barcelona, on Wednesday, 24 May.