European Parliament gives more rest options for tour bus drivers 

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  • Two breaks of at least 15 min 
  • Postpone daily rest period by one hour, if it does not compromise road safety or working conditions 
  • Complete journey form to use these options 

On Wednesday, MEPs updated EU rules on driving and resting times for drivers, to serve the specific needs of occasional transport sector.

The updated EU rules on driving and resting times for bus and coach drivers involved in occasional transport services were backed by 482 votes to 120 and 20 abstentions. It ensures more flexibility in taking breaks and rest periods, as in comparison to regular bus service the occasional transport sector is subject to high seasonality, longer distances driven at the beginning and the end of the tour, as well as more frequent needs to accommodate unplanned passenger requests for additional stops or changes of routes.

More options

According to new rules, occasional bus drivers will have an option to split their obligatory break into two breaks of at least 15 minutes each, while respecting the total required minimum rest time of 45 minutes during or at the end of four and a half hours driving.

Bus or coach drivers, engaged in at least 6 days tour, will be allowed to postpone the daily rest period by one hour, provided it does not go against road safety and the working conditions and that the total driving time for that day has not exceeded 7 hours, the rules say. This option can be used twice if the tour lasts 8 or more days.

Effective enforcement

In order to benefit from new rest and break options and to facilitate road side checks, coach drivers will have to carry a completed journey forms, which show the itinerary of the trip. MEPs

secured that the European Commission is tasked to examine the options to make these forms digital so as to ensure effective enforcement of new rules.


EP rapporteur Henna Virkkunen (EPP, Finland) said: “Occasional tourist trips are characterised by seasonality and changing circumstances. We are bringing flexibility to the driving and resting rules so that they better serve the needs of both the drivers and the passengers, while simultaneously preserving road safety.”

Next steps

The law now also has to be formally adopted by Council, before being published in the EU Official Journal and entering into force 20 days later.