Brussels, 27 June 2007
The European Commission today sent a reasoned opinion to ten Member States for failing to inform it of the provisions they have adopted to conform to the Directive on the training of professional drivers. This Directive provides for compulsory initial and periodic training for drivers of certain road vehicles for the carriage of goods or passengers. It is intended to improve road safety and driver safety.
The Directive on the training of professional drivers should have been transposed into the Member States' national legislation by 10 September 2006. The ten countries which have not introduced the necessary provisions are Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. These Member States have not replied to the letter of formal notice which the Commission sent them on 27 November 2006.
Directive 2003/59 defines the minimum requirements to be met during initial qualification and periodic training as regards safety regulations for road transport activities. Member States should issue a certificate of professional competence attesting to a driver's initial qualification or periodic training.
To be a professional driver, it is no longer enough simply to have a driving licence. Drivers must generally undergo:
- compulsory basic training of 280 hours, and
- periodic training of 35 hours every 5 years to update their knowledge and skills at regular intervals.
 Directive 2003/59 on the initial qualification and periodic training of drivers of certain road vehicles for the carriage of goods or passengers, amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 and Council Directive 91/439/EEC and repealing Council Directive 76/914/EEC.