The texts on the new driving and rest times and the Posting of Workers Directive, which are part of the Mobility Package I, were confirmed by the European Parliament (EP) on 9 July 2020, thus clearing the last hurdle before their entry into force. The new rules will enter into force after their publication in the Official Journal, which will happen in the coming weeks. The rules on driving times and rest periods will apply 20 days later; those on posting 18 months later.
The text that has now been adopted amends the existing regulation (Regulation 561/2006) on driving times and rest periods from 2006, primarily for road haulage. As already reported in advance, there will be no negative changes for bus tourism in these areas.
It is particularly important that it will continue to be possible to compensate for a reduced weekly rest period together with a daily rest period. Article 8(7) of the regulation on driving times and rest periods has therefore remained in its current wording.
The reference period of two weeks for coach travel has also been retained in accordance with Article 8(6), but for goods transport this period has been extended.
Under the new text, the Commission is obliged, two years after the entry into force of the regulation, to present an assessment in the form of a report to see whether the existing rules need to be adapted.
The previous Commissioner for Transport had already given assurances last year that a lex specialis would be prepared for coach travel. RDA President Benedikt Esser had already emphasised in talks with the new Commission and the EP that the RDA continues to call for separate rules for occasional transport and will insist that the previous Commission's promises in this regard be implemented by the new Commission.
Smart Tachoversion 2 will be introduced in two stages: for vehicles with analogue and digital tachographs, it will be introduced in 2024 and for vehicles already equipped with Smart Tachoversion 1, the new version will be introduced in 2025.
There is also good news about the Posting of Workers Directive: all transit traffic in coach travel is excluded from the directive. Similarly, journeys starting and finishing in the Member State in which the coach tour operator is established are also excluded from the directive.