On Wednesday, the European Commission published proposals for changes to the rules on driving licenses, which would cover all EU countries. Brussels proposes, among other things, the extension of the entitlement for holders of category B driving licenses, the introduction of digital driving licenses and the possibility of taking the exam by people who are 17 years old.
According to the EC, the new rules will improve the safety of all road users and help achieve the goal of no fatalities on EU roads by 2050. Data were quoted, which show that last year over 20,000 people died on EU roads. people, and most of the victims were pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and scooter drivers.
The published proposals – as indicated – are inspired by regulations already in force in several Member States. Some solutions are known in Poland.
Driving license – The European Commission proposes changes
European Commission proposes that all EU countries introduce a probationary period of at least two years for novice drivers and a zero-tolerance rule for drunk driving. “This is essential because even if young drivers account for only 8% of all car drivers, 2 out of 5 fatal collisions involve a driver or cyclist under the age of 30,” we read.
In addition, Brussels wants to allow people from the age of 17 to take driving exams for cars and trucks. In the case of passing the exam by people of this age, they will be able to drive vehicles – up to the age of 18 – accompanied by an adult driver.
To simplify the recognition of driving licenses by Member States, the Commission is also proposing a digital driving licence, “a first of its kind in the world”. “Exchange, renewal of a driving license will be much easier, because all procedures will take place online” – it was indicated.
In addition, drivers with a category B driving license are to gain the right to drive a vehicle with a maximum permissible weight of up to 4.25 tons, and not up to 3.5 tons as it has been so far. This is due to the greater weight of electric cars. Similar regulations were introduced in Poland at the end of 2021.
In addition, driving tests are to be updated to include the transition to zero CO2 emissions for new cars. For example, they will assess knowledge and skills related to advanced driving assistance systems and other automated technologies. Rookie drivers are also to be taught how their driving style affects emissions – for example, shift times.
The new rules are also intended to help improve cross-border traffic enforcement. Law enforcement authorities are to gain access to national driving license registries. It was also indicated that in 2019, about 40 percent. cross-border offenses were committed without consequence because the offender was not identified or payment was not made.
Communication between law enforcement agencies in different countries is also expected to improve. The EC proposes to extend the offenses for which countries will be obliged to cooperate. The rules now require a joint investigation into speeding and drunk driving. The list – as proposed by Brussels – is to be extended, among others about the so-called driving on the bumper, driving against the flow, or incorrect parking. It was stressed that this would ensure equal treatment of resident and non-resident offenders.
Proposals will now be considered by European parliamentand then EU governments in the Council of the EU will be able to deal with it.
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