Source: Schengen Visa Info
The European Commission has presented proposals that aim at updating driving license rules in an effort to improve the enforcement of traffic rules and also tackle the driver shortage issue.
"...a new system will be put in place, allowing for an EU-wide driving disqualification when a Member State decides to disqualify a driver because of an offense committed on its territory,”
According to a press release by the authority, the new rules are designated to improve safety and help the EU achieve its goal of having no deaths caused by accidents by 2050.
As the press release by EU Commission points out, more than 20,000 people lost their lives due to accidents on EU roads in 2022, with the majority of victims being pedestrians, cyclists and those using scooters and motorbikes.
In addition to improving road safety, the Commission intends to prepare drivers for zero-emission vehicles as well as driving in city centers, where there are many pedestrians and two-wheelers.
Moreover, the new rules will allow young drivers to learn to drive and receive a license from the age of 17 while the official time they will be able to drive is from their 18th birthday, as well as working as a professional driver, which is expected to address to the driver shortage.
The proposal’s key objectives include the following:
– A probation period of a minimum of two years for drivers who pass the test, as well as a zero-tolerance rule for drivers found drinking. This objective is essential as young drivers, who represent eight percent of all car drivers, also make up two out of five fatal accidents that occur in the EU.
– Allowing people to take their test from the age of 17 in order to gain driver experience.
– Adapting driver training and testing to prepare drivers for users on the road, which is expected to improve safety for pedestrians, bikers, e-scooters and e-bike users, the EU transitions to more sustainable urban mobility.
– A more targeted assessment of medical fitness, considering medical treatment for diseases. The drivers will also be encouraged to update their driving skills to update with technological developments.
To facilitate the recognition of driving licenses between Member States, the Commission wants to implement a digital driving license, which is easier to replace or renew, with all procedures being online. The same goes for citizens from non-EU countries to exchange their driving licenses for EU ones.
“To prevent impunity among road traffic offenders, a new system will be put in place, allowing for an EU-wide driving disqualification when a Member State decides to disqualify a driver because of an offense committed on its territory,” the press release explains.
Furthermore, the EU intends to allow authorities to gain access to national driving license registers in a bid to identify offenders. The Commission also proposes to strengthen the cooperation with enforcement authorities involved in dealing with offenses, which will address cooperation’s shortcomings between the Member States.
The Commission also intends to expand the offenses that risk drivers, such as not keeping sufficient distance among vehicle drivers, dangerous overtaking and parking, crossing solid white lines, wrong-way driving, neglecting rules on using the emergency corridors as well as the use of an overloaded vehicle, which can penalize offenders in the Member States. The proposal is now under the European Parliament and the Council’s legislative procedure.