European Commission’s plans to relax passenger transport driving and rest time rules put road safety at risk

21 Nov 2022

The European Commission is working on a proposal for the revision of driving and rest time rules in occasional passenger transport that could result in more consecutive days of driving and postponement of rest, which will have a negative effect on drivers and road safety.

The European Commission is currently working on a proposal for a revision of driving and rest time rules for the occasional transport of passengers by bus or coach, foreseen to be published early 2023.

The revision will provide more flexibility in the bus and coach sector regarding the organisation of daily and weekly driving and rest time.

If this legislative proposal goes through – it will be a nail in the coffin for road passenger transport and road safety.

In the EU, the industry is already suffering from a massive driver shortage, and driver fatigue is the norm.

Both issues are due to poor working conditions – drivers simply don’t want to work in the industry anymore, and young people are just not interested in a sector that can’t provide decent conditions.

Yesterday commemorated the victims of road accidents with World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Making driving and rest time rules more flexible poses a huge threat to the safety of drivers and passengers.

The European Commission needs to start taking road safety and the well-being of drivers seriously. Currently, European Union road safety policies and action plans include no measures for the safety of heavy-duty vehicles, and there is no formal recognition of driver fatigue, its causes and its potential impact on drivers and road users.

The ETF has written to EU national governments to flag up the issue, calling on them to block the European Commission’s initiative to revise driving and rest time rules. It should be noted that the Mobility Package’s current driving and rest time rules have the potential to guarantee a decent work environment in road passenger transport, and there’s no reason to revise these rules in the first place.


The policy options reviewed by the Commission include the following:

  • The extension of the ‘12-day derogation’ which will allow no weekly rest for 12 consecutive days in both domestic and international trips.
  • Allowing operators to split daily breaks in a flexible manner, into 15-minute or even shorter slots distributed throughout the workday
  • Postponement of the start of the daily rest period by 1 or 2 hours.

See ETF Position Paper on the revision of driving and rest time for bus and coach drivers

See driver fatigue figures: ETF Driver Fatigue Study