OREANDA-NEWS. IRU has raised its serious concerns about the new French interpretation relating to the break periods for second drivers that are taken on board a vehicle - so called ‘double manning’. The latest French interpretation would prevent any driver from taking their required breaks on board a moving vehicle, which makes ‘double manning’ useless and creates inconvenience for customers and passengers. The interpretation is in direct violation of a clear and agreed European Commission guideline that permits ‘double manning’. The reported penalties imposed by French authorities are also extremely harsh with fines of up to EUR 17,000.

The issue is of particular concern to long distance coach service operators and the coach tourism sector. IRU have been joined by the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association and the European Tourism Association in expressing concern. The organisations made clear the negative impact on coach journeys and tourism that such an interpretation of the rules for drivers’ breaks would have. The organisations have urged the French Government to reconsider this enforcement approach.