European tour operators, travel agents and road transport officials are calling for improvements to coach services safety regulations.
Citing coach tourism’s high safety record – according to Eurostat, buses and coaches are the safest mode of transport in the EU – the World Road Transport Organization (IRU), the European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Associations (ECTAA) and the European Tourism Association (ETOA) are requesting more flexibility in the management of daily driving times which could lead to less stress for drivers.
“Coach tourism is a business delivered by people for people. Road safety is not something that can be negotiated, and every traffic accident is one too many. Specific and improved rules for coach tourism operators and drivers would lift barriers to a better service,” said Matthias Maedge, general delegate of the IRU’s Permanent Delegation to the EU.
According to Eurostat figures, fatalities resulting from traffic accidents involving buses and coaches have halved since 2006 showing the sector’s continuous improvement in and commitment to road safety.
“Coach tourism drives growth from Europe’s key long-haul origin markets, whose visitors typically visit more than one country. The new proposals would allow greater fleet efficiency without compromising safety. The changes are timely and welcome,” said Tim Fairhurst, director of policy at ETOA.