Amendments to driving times and rest periods of drivers engaged in occasional bus and coach transport services

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 2.5.2024 15.32 | Published in English on 8.5.2024 at 9.36
Press release
Bussi ja autoja tiellä vehreässä maisemassa kesällä.
Photo: Shutterstock

Amendments to the EU Regulation on minimum breaks and rest periods were published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 2 May 2024. Specific rules were included in the Regulation to change the driving times and rest periods in the occasional passenger transport sector. In most cases, occasional passenger transport means chartered transport by bus or coach. The sector has special characteristics that the goods transport or regular coach and bus transport sectors do not share.

The aim of the changes is to ensure efficient and high-quality bus and coach transport services for passengers and to improve the working conditions of drivers by reducing the level of stress and fatigue. 

The changes allow more flexibility in scheduling the breaks and rest periods. In addition, they ensure fair business conditions for international and domestic occasional coach and bus transport services. 

In future, drivers of occasional bus and coach services will be able to divide the 45-minute daily break into two parts as long as one of the breaks lasts at least 15 minutes. In addition, for longer journeys with the same group of passengers, the driver may, under certain conditions, postpone the start of the daily and weekly rest periods. 

Until the journey form is available in digital format, the driver must be able to justify the use of the specific rules by carrying on board the vehicle a completed journey form and copies of such journey forms that cover the preceding 28 days. Starting from 31 December 2024, the journey form must be completed for the preceding 56 days. 

In future, the supervisory authority may also impose a penalty on an undertaking or
a driver for an infringement of the Regulation on driving times and rest periods or of the Regulation on tachographs, even if that infringement has been committed on the territory of another Member State or of a third country, and no penalties have yet been imposed for it. 

In the negotiations, Finland supported the specific rules on driving times and rest periods for drivers engaged in occasional coach and bus transport services. However, Finland pointed out that more flexible rules must not jeopardise road safety or the safety of drivers, must not increase the level of fatigue of drivers or lead to a deterioration in working conditions.  

Next steps

The Regulation was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 12 April 2024. It will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal. 
The amendment will enter into force as such in the Member States and will be applied in all respects throughout the EU. 


Veli-Matti Syrjänen, Senior Adviser, veli-matti.syrjanen(at), tel. +358 295 342 124