Source: Tanjug | Wednesday, 10.10.2018.| 11:46
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Transporters offer solution to lack of professional drivers – Age limit to move to 18 for C category, 20 for D

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Illustration (Photo: Milos Muller/shutterstock.com)
The Association of Employers in Road Transport has decided to seek to have the law amended in order to move the age limit for professional drivers, as Serbia is currently 6,000 short.

The association has supported the initiative for an urgent amendment of the Law on Road Traffic Safety, which would move the age limit to 18 for C and CE categories and 20 for D and DE vehicle categories.

This would entail the implementation of test licenses C, CE, D and DE or domestic traffic licenses C, CE, D and DE, which would be valid only within the territory of Serbia.

The current solutions in the Law were taken from EU directives, but real problems and the practice in EU states have lowered the age limit.

The average age of road drivers in Serbia is 55, and pensioners are often hired as well. It also happens that people over 70 are hired.

These were some of the topics at the meeting of the Association of Employers in Road Transport “Srbijatransport Beograd”, held this Tuesday at Lasta Autocentar in Belgrade.

The key topic was the lack of professional drivers and the initiative for the amendment of the Law through the lowering of the age limit for professional drivers.

The participants agreed that a large number of professional drivers were leaving Serbia, but also that the economic sustainability of the transport companies of Serbia's transport system and the logistics support to the society largely depended on professional drivers of buses and freight vehicles.

As said, drivers most often leave for EU states and there are currently 14 agencies which collect the documentation for drivers to work abroad. They organize their arrival and taking the tests for CPC certificates in Vinkovci, where the entire procedure takes only two days.

It was also said that Germany planned to open the borders for drivers with CPC certificates after the New Year.

Transporters agreed that this could lead to a serious destabilizing of the public bus transport in large cities.

Jovica Vasiljevic of the Secretariat for the Public Transport of Belgrade said that all professional drivers in Serbia should get the CPC certificate for motor vehicles before the end of 2019. He added that, under the rulebook which is currently being adopted at the Ministry of Transport, they would get the license for free for a period of 5 years without additional training.

The digitization of the road transport sector was proposed as well, featuring GPS following of road vehicles, as is the case in EU states, for the reasons of market competitiveness, traffic safety and preventing misuse and illegal public transport.

The meeting was attended by directors of large transport companies in Serbia: SP Lasta, Arriva Litas, Nis Express, GSP Belgrade, Srboeksport, Suboticatrans, JGSP Novi Sad and Panontransport, as well as representatives of the Secretariat for the Public Transport of Belgrade and of the transport secretariats of all major towns in Serbia.

The meeting was hosted by Toni Gajic, the director general of SP Lasta, and representatives of the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, as well as the Agency for Traffic Safety, hadn't responded to the invitation, SP Lasta announced.
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