• 20-JAN-2015

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

Traffic offenders will soon be tracked across EU borders

People who commit traffic offences in another EU country than their own will soon be tracked and given penalties in their home country. This will be made possible thanks to cross-border information exchanges which will allow EU countries to access national vehicle registration data from other EU countries.

The offences covered by the new directive are all safety-related: Speeding, not using a seatbelt, failing to stop at red lights, drink driving, driving under the influence of drugs, not wearing a safety helmet, using a restricted lane and illegally using a mobile phone or other communications device while driving.

The European Parliament's negotiator on this issue, Inés Ayala Sender (S&D Group), declared:

“To meet the new EU target of cutting road deaths by half in Europe we need new and more effective road-safety tools – such as this directive – to make sure offenders are held to account. Citizens are of course never thrilled to receive a letter telling them they have been caught committing a traffic offence, but they do welcome the fact that everyone in the EU will be treated equally, no matter where their vehicle is registered.”

She added: “The directive has already proved to be a very effective first step in stopping the gaps that allow drivers to get away with offences on the EU roads. It will serve as a deterrent for foreign drivers who are now aware that it is possible for them to be penalised for any offence they commit whilst abroad.”

The text, newly approved by the European Parliament's transport committee, would apply to all 28 member states from 6 May 2015. However the UK, Ireland and Denmark will be allowed two years to adjust their national rules to the new directive.

Background

The previous directive was annulled by the European Court of Justice due to an incorrect legal basis. Since then, this new directive was proposed by the Commission and has received a positive vote in the transport committee in the European Parliament.

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