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Mixed progress on driving licenses in the EU – PROFFS Newspaper

Mixed progress on driving licenses in the EU – PROFFS Newspaper


The Council’s overall strategy is taking small steps to address the driver shortage by reforming driving license rules and better news is expected from the European Parliament. During the same meeting, the Council reached a historic agreement to recognize specific driving and rest time rules for tour bus drivers.

EU Transport Ministers have agreed on the EU Council’s general position on two important issues: driving and rest time rules for tourist bus drivers and driving license rules. The Council’s position is determined before the upcoming negotiations with the European Parliament. The results are mixed.

Among the greats With the progress achieved, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) believes that the Council supports the European Commission’s proposal to allow supervised driving and training for truck drivers (Category C and C1) from the age of 17 years. It will open the way for young graduates of vocational schools to gain experience driving safely under the supervision of an experienced driver. The downside is that member states will be allowed to establish different national practices.

Director General of IRU EU advocate Raluca Marian says the council’s stance is bittersweet for truck drivers. On the one hand, most Member States have realized that allowing accompanied driving for 17-year-olds does not mean lowering the minimum driving age as some organizations have erred. It only helps young people catch up by creating a form of paid training under the supervision of experienced professional drivers, highlights Marian.

The sour part is that The Council has made this good measure voluntary for Member States. “We would like to see this across the EU where professional drivers get relatively more training and earn a living from driving which makes them safer by default.“says Marian.

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Another big one The achievement is that the Council adopted the Commission’s proposal on an EU mechanism for approving driving licenses from third countries. Currently, each Member State follows its own practices. “Our sector needs more drivers. While we prioritize local talent including young drivers and women, the gap is so wide that we cannot overcome the shortage without drivers from third countries.“, says Raluca Marian.

The IRU is delighted The Council has agreed that there is a harmonized EU practice for approving foreign professional driving licences, but this is not sufficient because a professional driver cannot drive in the EU without a recognized Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). “The council also missed the opportunity to meet driver demand for passenger transportation by removing the arbitrary 50-kilometre limit for professional bus drivers under 21 years of age.“says Marian.

Although it may Although some progress has been made, important solutions are still absent from the Council’s overall strategy. “We hope that the EU Parliament will bring a better version of driving license rules to the tripartite negotiations“, concluded Raluca Marian.