The European Commission’s proposal to revise the driving and rest time rules for occasional passenger transport could be a nail in the coffin for road passenger transport and road safety.
Published today, the proposed revision aims to introduce more flexibility in the occasional passenger transport sector regarding driving and rest time.
The ETF previously warned the European Commission that this could worsen the already existing issues of driver shortage and driver fatigue in the industry, ultimately posing a threat to the safety of drivers and passengers alike.
The Commission’s proposals include:
The proposals as set out above will negatively affect the sector, leading to:
It should be noted that the Mobility Package’s existing driving and rest time rules have the potential to guarantee a decent work environment in road passenger transport. The revision will undermine the Mobility Package’s goal of improving working conditions in the road industry and will threaten road safety.
The ETF’s survey of over 1300 bus and coach drivers across Europe found that 80% of drivers would consider leaving the industry if the European Commission revisits the rules. This, coupled with a study on driver fatigue in 2021, which revealed that chronic fatigue is the norm for professional drivers across Europe, highlights the urgency of prioritizing drivers’ well-being and road safety.
The ETF Road Section will continue to take action and liaise with relevant partners and stakeholders in order to prevent dangerous levels of flexibilization in occasional passenger transport. We call on the Parliament and the Council to support us in protecting the working conditions of bus and coach drivers.