11.10.2012. On 3 October at its offices in Brussels, the CIECA held its 5th workshop on access to driving vehicle combinations comprising a category B motor vehicle towing a trailer, a semi-trailer or a caravan.
- The aims of the workshop were as follows:
- To establish a precise overview of the current situation within the European Union
- To identify all the measures taken in preparation for the implementation of the 3rd Driving Licence Directive (training and/or testing, content of training)
- To draw lessons from the best practices observed.
The 3rd Driving Licence Directive 2006/126/EC of 20 December 2006 profoundly altered the conditions for access to driving these vehicle combinations. The procedures now vary according to the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of the towing vehicle and that of the trailer, and drivers may be obliged to undertake specific training lasting at least seven hours and/or to pass a test to assess their aptitudes and conduct.
As this is a highly technical subject, the work carried out at the workshop, together with the data gathered in a questionnaire sent to all the members of the CIECA, has made it possible to make a very clear point on the decisions made by the Member States with regard to the application of the 3rd Driving Licence Directive on 19 January 2013.
In particular, the workshop made it possible to iron out any possible ambiguities surrounding the precise definition of "the maximum authorised mass of a combination" (expression used in the 3rd Directive). It also provided information about the most popular option among the Member States, namely the implementation of a practical driving test rather than a minimum of 7 hours training, for all combinations with an MAM (i.e. MAM of the motor vehicle + MAM of the trailer) of between 3.5 and 4.25 tonnes, provided that the trailer has a MAM of >750 kg.
In light of the conclusions drawn at this workshop, proposals for improving the current provisions will be made to the European Commission. These comprise:
- the introduction into the category B theory test of points that are vital for safely driving a combination with the B licence alone (safety checks, loading, driving situations, etc.)
- the provision of more precise content for the 7-hour training if Member States choose this option.
The final report from this workshop will be available on the CIECA's website by the end of 2012.
To download the presentations, click here.