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Brussels, 14 December 2005

Slovakia taken to court over training given to lorry drivers

The European Commission decided to refer Slovakia to the Court of Justice for failing to comply with European legislation on the minimum level of training given to drivers of HGVs over 7.5 tonnes and to coach drivers. This legislation helps to improve road safety by providing drivers with advanced training, building on that required for their basic diving licence. It also enhances the operation of the internal market in road transport by ensuring drivers have a uniform level of training.

The main aim of the Directive in question[1] is to improve the level of lorry drivers’ driving skills.

Most professional drivers only hold the usual driving licence. The Directive specifies which drivers are targeted by this training, namely drivers of vehicles over 7.5 tonnes and of public passenger transport vehicles. The purpose of the training is to build on the basic training followed to obtain a driving licence and give professional drivers the skills they need to do their job.

The training will cover:

  • technical knowledge of the design and main features of these vehicles;
  • general knowledge of transport and of administrative procedures;
  • skills for driving goods or passenger transport vehicles.

Slovakia has not notified the Commission of the measures taken to transpose this Directive into national law in line with the Community transport acquis.

[1] Council Directive 76/914/EEC of 16 December 1976 on the minimum level of training for some road transport drivers (OJ L 357, 29.12.1976, p. 36).

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