Since the end of Covid restrictions, the number of road deaths has decreased compared to 2019 figures (-13%), but the European Commission still wants to halve the number of road deaths and seriously injured by 2030. The task seems tough, moreover, the figures are slowly but surely rising. Brussels estimates that 19,800 people were killed on European roads in 2021, an increase of 5% (1,000 more deaths) compared to 2020.
To achieve these objectives, a number of measures are being studied, such as the creation of a digital driving license to identify speeders and thus fight against impunity for drivers outside their country of origin.
According to the Public Service, there are 8 offenses that may involve cross-border prosecution:
There are different possible sanctions if you commit an offense abroad such as:
And if you are not arrested at the time of the offence, a letter may be sent to your home. However, in practice, it is quite difficult to identify those responsible for serious offences. “In 2019, around 40% of these cross-border offenses were committed with complete impunity, either because the perpetrator of the offense had not been identified or because the payment (of the fine) had not been executed,” the Commission said.
The aim of this digitization of the driving license is to facilitate the transmission of data between EU Member States. Brussels would also like each country to be able to have access to national driving license registers and create a tool to facilitate investigations to better identify the drivers responsible for the offences.
The collaboration already exists in reality in terms of speeding and drunk driving, for example, but would need to be extended to other offenses such as non-respect of safety distances, dangerous overtaking, crossing of continuous white lines, traffic in the wrong direction, etc.
In addition, today, if an offense leads to a disqualification from driving, this does not apply across Europe. The European Commission now proposes to apply it throughout the EU in the event of a serious offense (heavy speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or the influence of narcotics, an offense causing death or serious injury ).
From the driver’s point of view, a “specific computer portal” will eventually allow citizens to be able to directly pay the fines that have been imposed on them, but also, it will also be “easier to replace, renew or exchange a license to drive, since all the procedures will be done online” specifies the European executive in a press release.
For the time being, this proposal from Brussels will have to be examined by the European Parliament and the Council of the 27 member countries before being adopted. An initiative that will therefore take time to implement.