ETF gets ready for a full week of action on safety in bus & coach
Monday 23 April we’ll start our ETF action week on bus and coach. The aim: inform passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, all road users of the safety risks in making driving and rest time rules more flexible for the road sector.
What is at stake? Well, simply put, while current rules give drivers the right to rest three days every couple of weeks of driving, the EU Institutions are working on a ‘three weeks of driving and two days off’ scenario. So, at stake is our own safety!
The action week will include visits to bus and coach terminals and meetings with key decision makers among which members of the European Parliament. We will be publishing a report on the sector’s working and social conditions. Driver health and safety, work load, work intensity, work quality, work – life balance, they all stay at the core of this report. And they all heavily depend on a fair balance between driving hours and rest periods. We’ll be publishing stories of bus and coach drivers throughout the week. So be with us to get a glimpse on the lives and work of those sitting behind the wheel and driving passengers around Europe.
Safety concerns are not only ours! On 6 March, four European federations with a strong interest in road safety called for a decrease in maximum limits for driving time and a new distribution of rest periods to enable the driver to manage unbearable levels of fatigue. “Collisions involving heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches, affecting other road users and drivers alike, are regrettably still all too common. Given their size and weight, collisions involving these larger vehicles often lead to higher numbers of deaths, particularly amongst cyclists, pedestrians and powered two wheelers. Likewise, a single collision involving a bus or coach can result in many more deaths given the number of passengers on board”, declare jointly the ETF, the European Cyclists’ Federation, the European Transport Safety Council and the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims.
As it happens, next Wednesday, right in the middle of our action week, the European Parliament will cast its first vote on driving and rest time rules. We do hope the vote will be one for safety, rather than one for longer driving hours and shorter rest.
Follow us on our Blog, Facebook and Twitter. Be with us in this quest to defend safety for all on our European roads!