25.11.2011. On 17th November 2011, in the context of the transposition of the 3rd Driving Licence Directive 2006/126 of 20th December 2006, CIECA members examined in a very practical way the administrative, training, legal and technical consequences of the mandatory introduction of category C1 licences by all Member States as of 19th January 2013. In fact, under the 2nd Directive of 29th July 1991, freight vehicles with a Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes could be classified in a sub-category C1, which was optional at that time.
Furthermore, these new provisions will apply concurrently with those of Directive 2003/59 of 15th July 2003 on the mandatory initial and continuing training of professional drivers, not in force at the time of the institution of the sub-category C1.
Finally, in the light of technical developments in car manufacturing, category C1 will henceforth include a variety of vehicles used for very different purposes, both private (personal use) and professional. Against this changing background, the content of the test programme, as currently defined by Appendix 2 to Driving Licence Directive 2006/126, takes very little account of these future changes.
The purpose of an initial instructive presentation was to remind the twenty or so workshop participants, hailing from 11 countries, of all the administrative provisions concerning these vehicles (technical approval and acceptance, definition of the category, private and professional driving conditions, social regulations for transportation, digital tachograph fitting, training and test content.
Five participants (Finland, Hungary, Germany, Portugal and Northern Ireland) then gave presentations on the situation prevailing in their countries for category C1 vehicles and the issues arising therefrom.
- A good deal of interesting information emerged from these exchanges, including:
- many countries have already introduced category C1 in their regulations;
- the number of category C1 candidates nevertheless remains very low, representing only 2% of the number of category C candidates;
- few countries have made a real attempt to introduce true progressive access to driving the biggest vehicles: obtaining category C1 is not a requirement for taking the category C test;
- a very large majority of countries consider that driving C1 vehicles is an essentially professional activity;
The workshop then examined the various programmes in great detail: this in-depth examination revealed that programmes concerning the mandatory initial and continuing training of professional drivers met their aims perfectly, but the content of Appendix 2 to the Third Driving Licence Directive fixing minimum driving test requirements required adaptation and completion on a number of points.
In the basis of the exchanges at the conclusion of the workshop, concrete proposals are to be submitted for the approval of participants, ultimately taking the form of a report detailing precisely the improvements that could be made in this area.