8 May 2021
8 May 2021, Comments Comments Off on Public hearing for an amendment to the European Driving Licence to increase weight limit for driving motorhomes
Public hearing for an amendment to the European Driving Licence to increase weight limit for driving motorhomes

European motorhome drivers raise your voice!

Comment by Peter Hirtschulz, Aboutcamp BtoB contributor

The EU Commission is organising a public hearing on an amendment of the European-wide driving licence directive. This is not widely known yet, but everyone who has a driving license, is invited to express their opinion.

This directive could affects a whole range of driving licence regulations, including, very importantly for motorhome owners, the increase in the weight limit for a driving license with category B (in Germany). Since 1999, licence holders with B-class are only allowed to drive vehicles with a maximum total weight of 3.5 tonnes.

Now an amendment of the European driving licence directive is pending. This is timely ahead of e-mobility with vehicles that have higher weights due to the weight of their batteries.

This public hearing is a chance for motorhome owners to push through the weight increase for the (German) Class B driving licence that has been demanded for years. In practice, the limit of 3.5 tonnes is a big problem, as almost every motorhome in daily use with a family on board is probably overloaded. And if this weight limit is now lifted in the context of e-mobility, then there should be nothing to stop this also being permitted for diesel-powered vehicles.

Motorhome owners should make the most of their right to express their opinions by clicking on the following link: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12978-berarbeitung-der-F-hrerscheinrichtlinie Deadline: May 21st to give your comments! Do not miss the date!

For the actual process of the amendment of the European Driving Licence Directive, the EU-Commission has organized a public hearing: The European public is called upon to express their opinion and give their comments on which regulation they consider important within the framework of the new amendment to the European Driving License Directive.

For many years national organisations and association have been fighting for this driving licence extension, but the legal process is very long and tough. This represents a big chance for motorhome owners to have a voice.

In the upcoming decision-making process, it is important that as many people as possible give their comments. Only when a large number of people make their needs known, the bureaucratic commission members, many of whom probably don’t even know anything about motorhomes, will realise what motorhome owners want and how important this weight adjustment is within the framework of the European driving licence directive.

In order to be able to drive vehicles above 3.5 tonnes a C1/C1E driving licence must be obtained, the content, effort and costs of which bear no relation whatsoever to driving a recreational vehicle (which is technically unchanged compared to the 3.5 tonne variant). This is all the more so as the EU Commission already allows an additional weight of 750 kg for vehicles with alternative drives, which means that with a B driving licence, for example, one can drive an e-vehicle of 4.25 tonnes.

The Commission’s hitherto restrictive stance on increasing the B driving licence weight limit was justified by road safety concerns, yet electric vehicles up to 4.25 tonnes can still be without any safety concerns, but a diesel vehicle is limited to only up to 3.5 tonnes.

In addition, there are other exemptions that the EU Commission grants to the member states: for example, fire-fighting and disaster relief vehicles weighing well over 3.5 tonnes may also be driven with a B driving licence, and ambulances and the armed forces are also generally exempt from the restriction. All these vehicles take part in public transport and in some cases even enjoy privileges that would actually suggest a particularly restrictive selection and intensive training of drivers. 

On the other hand, drivers of recreational vehicles, who usually only achieve a low mileage and obviously drive particularly carefully (in Germany, 2.9 occupants of passenger cars died in road accidents in 2019, based on every 100,000 vehicles, but only 0.3 people in recreational vehicles – a rate that has also been steadily declining for years) are strictly excluded from such exemptions.