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EU Ministers Unify on Road Safety Rules: Digital Licenses and Cross-Border Offense Enforcement on the Horizon Canva

EU Ministers Unify on Road Safety Rules: Digital Licenses and Cross-Border Offense Enforcement on the Horizon

Written by  Dec 04, 2023

Ministers of Transport of EU Member States adopted a common position on new road safety rules on Monday, including a directive on driving licenses and the exchange of information on traffic offenses.

In March of this year, as part of the legislative package on road safety, the European Commission proposed the introduction of a single digital driving license in the EU and new rules to facilitate the collection of traffic fines committed in another member state, as well as the withdrawal of driving licenses.

The Commission also proposed that young drivers aged 17 can take the test and drive if accompanied by older drivers, introducing a probationary period for young drivers of at least two years after passing the test, and a zero-tolerance rule for alcohol consumption for young drivers. Although young drivers make up only eight percent of all drivers, two out of five fatal crashes involve drivers under 30.

The EU Council accepted most of the provisions from the European Commission's proposal in its position, with certain amendments regarding the probationary period for young drivers, taking into account the powers of member states.

In the common position of member states, on which they will negotiate with the European Parliament on the final text of the law, it is also anticipated that the voluntary reduction of the validity period of driving licenses for older drivers will continue. Clearer provisions regarding the examination of physical and mental fitness for driving are introduced. It is also anticipated that individuals with citizenship in one member state and permanent residence in another member state can take the theoretical part of the driving test in their country of citizenship, but this possibility is not foreseen for the practical part of the driving test.

There is also a proposal to expand the list of traffic offenses that will be punishable at the EU level. The current list includes a total of eight traffic offenses, including speeding, failure to use a seatbelt, running a red light, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not wearing a protective helmet, moving in a prohibited lane, and improper use of a mobile phone or other communication devices while driving.

The draft law on the exchange of information on traffic offenses will enable the decision to withdraw a driving license in one member state to be applicable in all member states, which is often not the case due to gaps in the law. The same applies to other traffic offenses that will be punishable at the EU level.

Last week, the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament adopted draft positions on the road safety law package. The European Parliament will vote on these drafts at the plenary session in December, after which the upcoming Belgian presidency will start negotiations with representatives of the Parliament on the final text of the law.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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