EU Social Partners Pledge Support for New Coach Driving Regulations

By Ivan PetrenkoJan 27, 2024 08:30 AMNews
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A luxury coach bus, parked amidst lush greenery
A luxury coach bus, parked amidst lush greenery. Source: unsplash

In a significant move for the European road transport sector, IRU (International Road Transport Union) and ETF (European Transport Workers' Federation) have jointly committed to aiding the implementation and enforcement of anticipated new driving and rest time regulations for coach tourism drivers. According to traveldailynews, this announcement comes as crucial trilogue negotiations are set to commence, focusing on these specific rules.

At the forefront of these discussions, the European road transport social partners, IRU and ETF, acknowledge the unique demands of passenger transport. Their collective willingness to collaborate is geared towards the successful implementation and enforcement of these forthcoming rules. A notable aspect of this initiative is the digitalization of the coach journey form.

This step is projected to lead to the development of an operational IMI-based (Internal Market Information System) platform by 2027, paralleling the existing system for driver posting declarations. This digital transformation is expected to lay the groundwork for progressively digitalizing all control documents in road passenger and freight transport.

IRU's Director of EU Advocacy, Raluca Marian, emphasized the partnership with ETF in this endeavor, highlighting their commitment to not just enforcing the new rules, but also supporting their adoption. The anticipated regulations, long awaited in the sector, are seen as a significant step towards improving the working conditions of coach tourism drivers. Additionally, these rules are expected to enhance road safety, addressing a critical concern in the industry.

The proposed changes, once finalized, will allow coach tourism drivers more flexibility in organizing their breaks. This adjustment will be tailored to the nature of their work and the needs of their passengers, with a primary focus on safety.

As these negotiations progress, the European road transport social partners remain dedicated to finding common ground that benefits both drivers and operators. Their efforts are particularly crucial in addressing the ongoing challenges in the commercial road transport sector, including the chronic driver shortage that threatens the stability of mobility networks and supply chains. This initiative marks a pivotal step towards improving the landscape of European road transport, aiming for safer, more efficient, and driver-friendly operations.

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