Most lorry drivers lack certification as deadline looms
The vast majority of truckers in Sweden have yet to complete an obligatory course that will allow them to continue carrying out their jobs this autumn, and some are worried about the affect this could have on transport, come the September 10th deadline.
Everyone who drives heavy goods vehicles in Europe must be able to prove they have gone through the training, part of which teaches the common transportation regulations of the European Economic Area. In Sweden, only 14 percent of the country's 110,000 truckers have done so, reports Swedish Radio News.
Bassam Ferai drives a heavy goods vehicle and tells Swedish Radio News that he hasn't done his course yet, but that he will start tomorrow. He waves a course program through the window of his white truck.
With just seven months to go before the deadline, there are still almost 100,000 truck drivers in Sweden who need to get the certificate of professional competence, and Ted Montaigne, an investigator at the Swedish Transport Agency, is worried that drivers won't manage to go through the training in time, and this will leave them unable to do their jobs.
Montaigne says the situation could lead to one in which some transport can't be carried out. He fears that some shipping companies are putting off letting their employees take the course because of the cost, which is around SEK 12,000. There are no tests, but the course requires the driver to be absent from work for a total of a week.
But he cautions that waiting too long could result in long queues, and people coordinating the education told Swedish Radio News that thousands of drivers might wait until they last month before the register for the course.
Lorry drivers who do not have the certificate of professional competence by September 10th will not be able to transport goods and could get fined if they do.