Photo: Polisen Stockholm - Trafik

EU data sharing plan to mean no escape for foreign hauliers & drivers who make road violations

The European Commission has said it is taking further steps to ensure that non-resident road offenders do not remain anonymous. According to The Commission, in 2019 some 40% of cross-border offences were committed with impunity, either because the offender was not identified or because the payment was not enforced. Plans unveiled last week will nonetheless seek to address this via data sharing.

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The Commission has proposed that national enforcement authorities of Member States be given access to national driving licence registers.

In addition, The Commission wants to strengthen the role of established national contact points so they can better cooperate with the enforcement authorities involved in the investigation of offences.

This, argues The Commission, will address current shortcomings in cooperation between Member States when investigating offences.

On top of this, The Commission wants the scope of traffic offences covered by the cross-border system to be extended to include the following:

  • not keeping sufficient distance from the vehicle in front;
  • dangerous overtaking;
  • dangerous parking;
  • crossing one or more solid white lines;
  • wrong-way driving;
  • not respecting rules on the use of emergency corridors;
  • the use of an overloaded vehicle.

The Commission states that these additions will help reduce impunity for such offences and improve Member States’ ability to penalise offenders from other Member States. It will also ensure equal treatment of resident and non-resident offenders.

“The updated laws will ensure that the rights of people accused of traffic offences are upheld. Non-residents retain the right to an effective remedy and a fair trial, to the presumption of innocence, and to defence. These rights will be better guaranteed by provisions ensuring unified content and delivery of penalty notices, by ensuring recipients of such notices are able to verify their authenticity, and by making the sharing of information with presumed offenders a standard requirement,” says The Commission.

According to the plans, a dedicated IT portal will also give citizens easy access to information on the road safety rules in place in each Member State and, in time, allow them to pay any fines directly. Moreover, the rules will also be aligned with the EU rules on personal data protection (GDPR and LED).

On top of this, a new system will be implemented to ensure an individual banned from driving in one Member State will also be banned in every EU country.

The proposals will now be considered by the European Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure.