Road safety: ending impunity for non-resident drivers
To make Europe’s roads safer Transport MEPs want driving disqualification decisions to apply in all EU member states and for more offences to trigger cross-border investigation.
The Transport and Tourism Committee adopted draft new EU rules to end the impunity of non-resident drivers and improve road safety. Under the current rules, if a driver commits an offence in a country other than the one which issued their licence and loses it, the sanction will most of the time only be valid in the country where the offence was committed and entails no restrictions in the rest of the EU.
No escape from driving disqualification and stricter timeline
Under the proposed new rules, decisions on the suspension, restriction or withdrawal of a non-resident’s driving licence will have to be passed on to the EU country which issued the driving licence, to ensure the disqualification decision is applied across all EU countries.
MEPs propose the expansion of the list of severe traffic offences that would trigger the exchange of information on driving disqualification. In addition to the proposal by the Commission to include excessive speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and traffic offences causing death or serious bodily injury, MEPs add driving without a valid licence offence. Transport MEPs suggest instituting strict deadlines for EU countries to inform each other and the person concerned about driving disqualification decisions.
Streamlining the exchange of information
Transport MEPs also revised draft EU rules on the cross-border exchange of information on traffic offences to streamline assistance between member states. The committee backed expanding the list of traffic offences that would trigger cross-border investigation to include dangerous parking, dangerous overtaking, crossing a solid line and hit and run amongst other offences.
Given around 40% of cross-border offences go unpunished, MEPs support more robust assistance procedures between EU countries by involving national contact points more in cross-border investigations, providing them access to different national registers and setting up an IT portal for information exchange.
Both proposals are part of the Road safety package presented by the Commission in March 2023 to improve safety for all road users, facilitate cross-border enforcement of traffic rules and modernise driving licence rules. The ultimate goal is to move as close as possible to zero fatalities in EU road transport by 2050 (“Vision Zero“).