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The driver takes centre stage

International meeting of MAN ProfiDrive trainers in Munich

The key to the safe and efficient transport of goods by road is the driver. The most up-to-date commercial vehicle technology is useless if bus and truck drivers haven't mastered it properly. Training and advanced training of the men and women behind the wheels of those buses and trucks are what really counts when it comes to greater safety and efficiency in road traffic. This shared conviction is what unites the more than 40 MAN ProfiDrive trainers from 16 countries who gathered for an international meeting at the new MAN Forum in Munich this week. In addition to the concepts and contents of this comprehensive MAN ProfiDrive training course, which covered aspects such as profitability and safety and provided intensive instruction, off-road training and advanced courses for trainers and technical assessors, discussions amongst the participants often centred on the industry's hot topic: the law on the qualification of professional drivers (Berufskraftfahrerqualifizierungsgesetz, BKrFQG).

This new law stipulates that by 2013, professional drivers in passenger transport will have to undergo regular and repeated advanced training (professional drivers in goods transport by 2014). The objective is to improve safety on the roads, reduce the environmental impact and prevent unfair competition within the EU's transport industry.

The law requires every professional driver to take a 35-hour advanced course every five years. The course consists of five modules, each lasting seven hours. Participation is mandatory and will be verified with the code number 95 in the driver's licence. Drivers will be fined up to €5,000 for infringements, companies up to €20,000.

MAN ProfiDrive is already recognised throughout Germany as well as in certain European countries as a training center in terms of the new law, enabling professional drivers to absolve their training in all statutorily required areas. Since the beginning of 2009 more than 2,300 drivers and companies have completed their advanced training in accordance with the new law at MAN ProfiDrive.

Since 1981 MAN Nutzfahrzeuge has been offering practical seminars for truck and bus drivers – the echo amongst customers has been increasing steadily. In Germany alone, between three and four thousand drivers currently take part in these seminars every year. MAN ProfiDrive now offers this service in more than 25 countries, employing a total of 69 trainers.

For information on the comprehensive MAN ProfiDrive services, please go to www.man-mn.com.

A strong economy is based on smoothly functioning mobility: supermarkets have their ripe fruit delivered just in time. Newspapers get to their readers early in the morning. Logistics specialists ship hundreds of thousands of packages every day. Regular-service buses provide a dense network of connections in local public transport. The flow of traffic will continue to increase in future, while energy resources are limited. The flexible, fast and reliable transport of goods must be as efficient as possible. As far as buses are concerned, we must continue to reduce the energy required per passenger-kilometre. As one of the world's leading manufacturers, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge makes an important contribution to the continued improvement of transport efficiency.