Serbia Lowering Age Threshold
To Curb Heavy Drivers Deficit
12 SEP - Serbia is to allow 18-year olds to obtain professional drivers licences and sit behind the wheel of buses and heavy trucks.
The National Assembly amended the Road Traffic Safety Act bringing about a significant change on the driver labor market.
The age threshold for professional drivers has been officially lowered to 18 years for categories C, CE, D1 and D1E and 21 years for D and DE with the latter one valid with a mandatory certificate of professional competence or completion of secondary traffic school. With this Serbia lines up among the increasing number of European countries that have lowered the age threshold with the aim of reducing the lack of professional drivers by attracting young personnel.
Representatives of transport associations welcomed the proposed changes. “We have appealed for such amendments since 2017. I believe that this is very important for road transport and especially for bus carriers, and that these changes have fully complied with the requirements of the economy”, commented Goran Aleksić from the Serbian Transport Association for “PlutonLogistics”, reminding that the amendments are in accordance with the directives of the European Union as well as being important for all carriers, as well as users of transport services.
Road safety experts refrained from directly condemning the amendments, but expressed some concern. They remind that it is necessary to focus on the safety of young staff, to work on improving the quality of education in Serbia, to control the work of secondary vocational schools and to respect the regulations governing the acquisition of diplomas. They also add that experiences from other countries suggests that lowered age will not bring a thorough solution to the problem, but only a slight reduction in professional driver deficit.
Other amendments to the Act brought about an increase to 50 000 dinars (about 426 EUR) of the fine for disregarding а mandatory direction road sign when driving a commercial vehicle. Two-color traffic lights are introduced at railroad crossings, which have proven to be more effective. Also, a vehicle apprehension is introduced for serious violations prior to court procedings being finalized and sentence issued.