French driving instructors protest against licence reform

14th March 2008, Comments 3 comments

Thousands of driver-training workers blocked traffic across main French cities Thursday in a national day of action.

   PARIS, March 14, 2008 - Thousands of driver-training workers blocked
traffic across main French cities Thursday in a national day of action against
driving-licence reforms.
   Instructors are protesting against possible changes to the system under an
ongoing government review which they say will restrict their earnings.
   According to organisers, some 5,000 vehicles tailing back two kilometres
(1.25 miles) caused jams in Paris, although police said the figure was 1,100.
   Hundreds of vehicles organised lesser demonstrations in large cities such
as Lyon and Bordeaux, with support also coming from truckers in Marseille.
   "Our profession is in danger. The government wants to teach the highway
code in schools and wants to cut the minimum number of (driving-instructor)
hours required before sitting the test," said Georges Tassara, an instructors
union representative.
   "The cost of obtaining a driving licence, around 1,200 euros (1,875
dollars) is not excessively high compared to northern European countries,"
said Jean-Louis Bouscaren, head of an instructors union.
   Patrick Ohaya, president of a driving school federation, called on the
government to increase the number of test inspectors, cutting down waiting
times for repeat applicants.
   Federation members are also calling for reduced fuel taxes.
   Last month, thousands of taxis had staged a similar protest against
deregulation of their profession.


3 Comments To This Article

  • Judi posted:

    on 17th March 2008, 07:46:55 - Reply

    Not excessive? It's outrageous, considering how bad the driver's are in France. Almost every car has some kind of dent! Maybe if these instructors had some competition they would understand the word work and making sure everyone knows how to drive properly. It's sort of an extortion.
  • Bertrand de Frondeville posted:

    on 14th March 2008, 21:50:14 - Reply

    Ceci est typique d'un monopole abusif, qui recale un fort pourcentage de candidats pour s'assurer une rente accrue et defend ses prebendes. Je me souviens d'un camarade brillant polytechnicien et ingenieur du Genie Maritime qui fut recale deux fois a son permis a Nantes et le passa a Cholet!!! In English: Power and money hungry "trainers" who defend their economic rent, and defeat candidates to enrich themselves. Some brilliant engineer was slammed twice in Nantes, had to go to small Cholet.
  • Dawne posted:

    on 14th March 2008, 11:34:18 - Reply

    Get a grip France! There are thousands of French young people who could benefit from reduced costs for a licence to drive. Maybe a licence could offer them a way to get to a job in a neighboring larger village or city.

    Learn it in school...hey yes! Why should "Philosophy" be more important than something that could truly benefit the situations of many. Let's teach SOMETHING practical in the shcools here!
    Repeat applicants...let them wait. Maybe they could benefit from more practice. Maybe also the instuctors and/or inspectors are to blame. I'm sure that Mr. Tassara would never consider the fault of his surprising here!