New rules for training of drivers negotiated in 10 months
EU can act fast in some cases, when the issues are less political. With MEP Peter Lundgren (Sweden) as chief negotiator the Parliament even managed to have considerable influence on the final outcome - subject to final votes in Parliament and Council. However, both in Parliament and in Council the negotiations in the so-called trialogue are followed closely and coordinated, so there should be little risk of changes to the text from now on.
In general NLA has reason to be happy and satisfied. A number of our main concerns have been adressed. NLA worked hard for making sure that drivers have the necessary skills when they drive in extreme, adverse weather conditions such as in the Nordic winter. The revision proposed to the existing rules will allow for this - and allow for further work to ensure that all drivers in the Nordic have the necessary skills. Text is added indicating that learning to fit snow chains is a practical training, which drivers should have.
Another priority has been the fight against fake cards - and even use of fake identities when using cards. The text agreed recognises the problem and is proposing solutions, allowing for access to the relevant information on a wider basis. A network for better information on issued and withdrawn certificates will be established, which should help to fight the fraud and abuse. The system with training during work based training should be possible to keep also.
Important is also that more flexibility is added, such as spliting the training periods over 2 consecutive days. Repeat training is also allowed, if the driver needs it - so more focus on individual needs.
"We have reason to be satisfied on this basis", comments CEO of NLA, Soren Larsen. "Firstly it is a good example of how EU legislation can be adopted quickly, secondly some of our concerns were met in the negotiations. But from here a lot of work still remains. The Member States will have to implement the new rules over the coming years. We will have to make sure that they make good use of the new possibilities and that they are serious about weeding out fraud and abuse of cards."