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One of the striking adjustments in the new regulations is the flexibility in the mandatory break times for drivers.

After a lengthy period of effort and consultation, a significant change is underway in the European transport sector. The European Union has decided to distinguish the profession of coach driver from that of truck driver. This distinction entails a new, more flexible driving and rest time regime, specifically tailored to the needs of the coach sector.

This change, which will have a direct impact on the quality of service during European coach travel, marks an important step forward. Until now, coach drivers were subject to the same regulations as truck drivers, which focused primarily on freight transport and took little into account the unique demands of passenger transport. This often led to frustration among passengers and in some cases even to high fines for drivers, due to strict compliance with driving and rest times.

The change is the result of years of efforts by various organizations within the coach industry. Both KNV (Royal Dutch Transport) and Bus Transport Netherlands, supported by the International Road Transport Union (IRU), have lobbied intensively for this distinction. Their efforts were aimed at recognizing the specific needs and work rhythms in tourist bus transport.

One of the striking adjustments in the new regulations is the flexibility in the mandatory break times for drivers. The previously strict 45-minute break may now be divided into two segments of at least 15 minutes. In addition, the daily rest period can, under certain conditions, be postponed by one hour. This gives coach drivers more leeway in unforeseen circumstances such as traffic congestion, allowing them to better respond to the needs of their passengers.

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Another important aspect of the new regulations is the digitization of the travel sheet. This document, previously considered an unnecessary administrative burden, will now be available digitally, which will significantly reduce the administrative burden for drivers.

These developments are seen as a major victory for the coach sector. They not only promote flexibility and efficiency within European bus transport, but also provide an improved travel experience for passengers. With the provisional agreement now on the table, it is expected that these new rules will be implemented without many obstacles.

While the industry and passengers look forward to the positive changes that these new regulations will bring, the focus remains on ensuring safety and comfort during bus travel. This step by the European Union is therefore seen as a recognition of the unique challenges and requirements of the coach industry, and a confirmation of the importance of this sector within the European transport network.

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