On Wednesday, the European Commission, as part of the legislative package on road safety, proposed the introduction of a single digital driver's license in the EU and new rules that will facilitate the collection of traffic fines committed in another member state, as well as the revocation of driver's licenses.
"Today's package seeks to simplify driver's license rules while adapting them to technological and medical advances so that young drivers are well trained," said Transport Commissioner Adina Valean.
The new package should also eliminate the impunity of those who commit traffic violations in another member state through a better exchange of information about committed violations and the disqualification of drivers who commit serious traffic violations, the commissioner added.
The Commission proposes the introduction of a digital driver's license in order to facilitate the recognition of licenses between member states, facilitate and simplify the replacement or extension of a driver's license. The entire process of issuing a digital driver's license will be done 'online'. It will be the first digital driver's license in the world. It will also make it easier to exchange a driving license issued in a non-member country with similar safety standards for a license in the EU. In addition to the digital one, which drivers will have in their mobile phone, the driver's license in physical form will also be retained.
The new road safety package provides for a probationary period for young drivers of at least two years after passing the test and a zero tolerance rule for drink driving for young drivers. Although young drivers make up only 8 percent of all drivers, 2 out of 5 fatal crashes involve drivers under the age of 30.
Changes in driver training and testing are also foreseen in order to better protect particularly vulnerable road users, pedestrians, cyclists, and people on electric scooters.
The proposal foresees the possibility of passing the theoretical and practical driving test in the native language in another EU member state.
It is also proposed that drivers with a passed B category can drive vehicles weighing up to 4.25 tonnes instead of the current 2.5 tonnes if these vehicles do not have internal combustion engines.
The Commission is proposing a new directive that would regulate the revocation of driving licenses for serious traffic violations, regardless of the country in which they were committed. Now there are still loopholes that allow a citizen of one country, when his license is revoked due to a serious traffic violation, to go to his country, report the disappearance and get a new license.
According to the new proposal, this will no longer be possible. The proposal lists serious traffic violations for which driving licenses are revoked throughout the Union. These are excessive speed, 50 km/h more than the legal limit, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and causing death or serious injuries in traffic.
According to the new directive, the country that revoked the driver's license is obliged to inform the country where the license was revoked.
The rules on cross-border enforcement of traffic fines now in force have helped to ensure that non-resident road offenders do not remain unknown. Despite this, in 2019 around 40 percent of cross-border offenses went unpunished, either because the perpetrator was not identified or because there was no way to make the perpetrator pay.
The Commission is trying to solve this problem with today's proposal to allow competent authorities access to national registers of driver's licenses and to strengthen cooperation between competent authorities in member states.
The current rules on the cross-border exchange of data on offenses committed cover offenses such as speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol. The Commission now proposes to extend it to the following offences: failure to maintain sufficient distance between vehicles; dangerous overtaking; dangerous parking, crossing one or more solid lines, driving in the wrong direction; non-compliance with the rules on freeing the emergency corridor and using an overloaded vehicle.