Taxi drivers in Flanders given extra year to improve knowledge of Dutch
Taxi drivers in Flanders will have an extra year to meet Dutch language requirements, Mobility minister Lydia Peeters of Open VLD has announced. Drivers were originally required to reach a certain level of proficiency by 1 July 2024, but this deadline was deemed to result in too many drivers losing their licences.
In 2020, the new taxi decree came into force in Flanders. This not only changed a number of rules regarding fares and other matters, but also introduced the obligation for drivers to reach a certain level of proficiency in Dutch. The language requirement was also linked to the licence, which has been compulsory in Flanders since 1 July 2020.
Taxi drivers were given two years to meet the language requirement. Those who had a licence before July 2020 were given additional time. In 2022, this transitional period was extended by two years until the end of June 2024.
Now there is a further extension of one year. The group eligible for the transitional measure has also been extended to include anyone who obtained their driving licence before 1 July 2023.
"Many taxi drivers risk losing their licence, making it impossible to continue their work"
"Unfortunately, we are seeing that a large group of drivers will not be able to reach the required language level by the original deadline of June 2024," says Peeters. "Many taxi drivers risk losing their licence, making it impossible to continue their work."
To benefit from the transitional measure, the drivers concerned must be enrolled in a language course at a centre for adult education by 30 June 2024. "Otherwise, their licence will no longer be valid," says Education minister Ben Weyts. "Only if they are enrolled in a course before 30 June will they be given an extra year to reach the minimum level of Dutch proficiency."
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