Brussels wants children under 17 to be able to drive under supervision and proposes a digital card that is valid throughout the EU

Brussels wants children under 17 to be able to drive under supervision and proposes a digital card that is valid throughout the EU

The European Commission wants to raise the age at which young people can take driving tests and start driving vehicles to 17, yes, accompanied by an adult and with strict restrictions. In a proposal presented in Brussels this Wednesday, the European executive also presented plans for the EU to equip itself with a digital card valid in all member states. Something that, he argues, will not only simplify the often complicated bureaucracy of renewing a driver’s license, but also adapt it to the new mobility and safety challenges posed by the rapid growth of more modern, ecological or alternative vehicles such as bicycles .

The European Commission’s proposal also provides for the application of fines and penalties for offenses committed by a driver in another European country, something that millions of people miss out on, and will enable the withdrawal of driving licenses in the most serious cases around the world. EU.

According to Transport Commissioner Adina Valean, the aim of this package of measures, which will have to be analyzed by the European Parliament and the EU Council before its final adoption, is “to simplify driving license rules while allowing time for them to be adapt to technological and medical progress” and to ensure that drivers, especially novice drivers, are “well-trained”, especially in the face of emerging risks such as increased bicycle traffic in shared lanes. “Future drivers will learn to use the streets and roads sharing with a growing number of more vulnerable users, such as cyclists,” said Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

In addition, the new rules would “write this little piece of plastic history,” Valean congratulated at a press conference, referring to the current physical cards. But these can still be requested if desired, with the aim of “implementing a digital license that works across EU borders” that can be loaded onto mobile phones or other mobile devices, as is already possible in some countries.

The process of replacing, renewing or changing the driving license is done entirely online, even for drivers from third countries, but with safety standards comparable to those of European drivers who want to obtain a European driving licence, the Commission said.

Objective: improving road safety

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The main idea, defends the European executive, is to improve road safety: last year alone, he recalls, of the more than 20,000 people who died in road accidents in the EU, most were “pedestrians, cyclists or scooter riders”. or motorcyclists. One of the problems is that new vehicle types with advanced driver assistance systems or other types of automated technologies require new skills that not all drivers necessarily possess and that must be part of the learning process. look at Brussels. Especially for novice drivers who also want to learn to drive more emission-consciously, for example by being able to shift better. At a time when Europe is also moving towards zero-emission vehicles, Brussels says an “adjustment” is needed in the mass of category B vehicles – the most common license – as new electric cars are often heavier due to the battery they pack. to empty .

Driving from the age of 17

The Commission intends to pay particular attention to younger drivers. And it offers an incentive to do so: you can start getting a driver’s license from the age of 17, including C for heavier vehicles. With this, Brussels wants to achieve two objectives: not only to improve the training of new drivers, but also to “make the road transport sector more attractive” for young people, a priority “given the lack of professional drivers” that the EU is facing, the transport commissioner recalled.

Of course, young drivers must adhere to strict rules: until they come of age, they can only drive accompanied by an adult. In addition, the trial period after obtaining the driver’s license – the famous L for beginners – is extended to two years, during which the first two years “zero tolerance” applies to alcohol without being able to drink a drop of alcohol while sitting down behind the wheel.

Mapping for serious crimes across the EU

It’s not just about drivers. Brussels also wants to make it easier for states to fine or sanction drivers from other countries for traffic violations on their territory “so that those who break the rules on the other side of the border do not go unpunished”. Valean emphasized.

According to the Commission, in 2019, around 40% of cross-border offenses went unpunished, either because the driver was not identified or the fine was not paid. A figure that Valean says implies that “millions” of drivers go unpunished, in part because of recent failures in intergovernmental cooperation and a lack of access by a country’s authorities to national driver registers.

Likewise, Brussels plans that if a state decides to revoke a non-resident’s driving license for more than a month, this sanction will be imposed by the country issuing the driving licence, provided that the offense becomes equally severe in both territories penalized . . . It is mainly addressed in serious offenses with fatalities or injuries, speeding violations of more than 50 km/h or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The traffic commissioner warns: “If you drive dangerously, you will not escape.”

Source: La Neta Neta

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