Transport: professional drivers' training improves road safety
The European Commission published today a report on the application legislation which requires professional drivers to undergo dedicated training. Data show that trainings have been effective and continue to enhance road safety. The report advises on specific issues to further improve the application of the legislation.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas responsible for transport said: "Safety on our roads is a priority. With buses and coaches operating across the EU, the harmonisation of skills and competences of professional drivers in Europe proved to be effective in contributing to the reduction of road fatalities. Now we are looking into how to enhance its application."
Directive 2003/59/EC on the initial qualification and periodic training of trucks and buses' drivers entered into force on 10 September 2003. The goal of the Directive is to enhance road safety in Europe by ensuring a common level of training, and the achievement of the necessary skills and competences for professional drivers to drive their vehicles.
It establishes mandatory level of initial qualification and periodic training for professional drivers in the European Union. The training is organised by training centres approved by the Member States.
The report suggests a few specific issues which can improve the application of the Directive, such as raising the involvement of social partners, and enhance the cooperation between Member States. A list of national contact points will facilitate the cooperation between national administrations to handle, among others, the cases of drivers attending the periodic training abroad.
Moreover, the exchange of national timetables for periodic training should help overcoming any difficulty that enforcement authorities may face when checking drivers from abroad.