Tour bus drivers to get more break and rest options
Two breaks instead of one
More possibilities to postpone daily and weekly rest periods
Journey forms to become digital
To serve the specific needs of occasional transport sector Transport MEPs voted for more flexibility in drivers’ breaks and rest periods, but subject to sufficient supervision.
On Thursday (16th Nov 23), Transport and Tourism Committee welcomed Commission’s proposal to follow-up on European Parliament’s call and to adapt EU rules on driving and resting times for drivers of occasional bus and coach services. It is subject to high seasonality, longer distances driven at the beginning and the end of the tour, as well as more frequent needs to accommodate unplanned passenger requests for additional stops or changes of routes, in comparison to regular bus services.
To ensure greater flexibility in the scheduling of breaks and rest periods Transport MEPs suggest giving occasional bus drivers an option to split their obligatory break into two breaks of at least 15 minutes each, while respecting the total required minimum rest time of 45 minutes during or at the end of four and a half hours driving.
They are also in favour allowing bus or coach drivers, engaged in at least 6 days tour, to postpone the daily rest period by at most 1 hour, provided that the total driving time for that day has not exceeded 7 hours. However, this flexibility should not jeopardise road safety and should be limited during the period of the tour, add Transport and Tourism committee.
Transport MEPs also back a proposal to extend the possibility of postponing the weekly rest period for up to 12 days to national occasional passenger services. It currently exits for international passenger services.
MEPs on Transport and Tourism committee advocate for and efficient enforcement and supervision of proposed flexibility by asking the Commission to develop a multilingual interface, which would allow the operators to upload their digital journey forms, replacing paper forms. Digital journey forms should be electronically registered prior to the start of the journey, in addition to the tachograph records, and should be accessible in real time during road side checks, they add.
EP rapporteur Henna Virkkunen (EPP, Finland) said: “Transporting people is different from transporting goods. This is why we need a slight adaptation of the existing driving and resting rules, to better serve the specific characteristics of the occasional passenger transport sector. This regulation helps the drivers to better respond to changing circumstances and passenger needs, while respecting road safety and proper working conditions. Simultaneously we must ensure that all driving and resting rules are correctly enforced and controlled.”
The draft legislation was adopted in the Transport and Tourism committee by 31 vote to five and one abstention. It will be put to a vote by the full House during the 11-14 December plenary session in Strasbourg. Once both Parliament and Council have adopted their positions, talks on the final shape of the law can start.
(source EU TRAN)
24 May 2023
01 Februray 2022