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Europe Tightens Road Fines for Traffic Violations Abroad

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Photo: Europe Tightens Road Fines for Traffic Violations Abroad. Source: Collage The Gaze
Photo: Europe Tightens Road Fines for Traffic Violations Abroad. Source: Collage The Gaze

The European Union (EU) has intensified its efforts to ensure effective enforcement of fines by drivers for traffic violations committed abroad, reports 7su7.

The EU's 2015 directive allows any EU member state to identify and hold accountable citizens of another member state for traffic violations committed on its territory.

Now, Europe aims to strengthen this cross-border directive by significantly expanding the list of traffic violations to which it applies. At the same time, it urges all countries to exert equal efforts in prosecuting foreign traffic offenders or working on this matter.

Recall that on March 1, the European Commission presented proposals to modernize the issuance of driver's licenses, including introducing digital driver's licenses valid throughout the EU, and new provisions to facilitate compliance with traffic rules across borders.

According to the Commission, last year over 20,000 people died on EU roads, with the majority of victims being pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter/motorcycle users.

In 2019, about 40% of cross-border traffic offences were committed with impunity due to the offender's lack of identification or failure to collect the fine.

The new proposals aim to address this issue by allowing law enforcement authorities access to national driver's license registries.

Moreover, the existing law covers some of the most common and egregious violations, such as speeding and driving under the influence. The Commission proposes to expand the scope of traffic violations covered to include:

  • Failure to maintain sufficient distance from the vehicle ahead.
  • Dangerous overtaking.
  • Unsafe parking.
  • Crossing one or more continuous white lines.
  • Improper driving.
  • Failure to comply with emergency corridor rules.
  • Use of an overloaded vehicle.

These additions will help reduce impunity for such violations and improve member states' ability to penalize offenders from other member states. It will also ensure equal treatment of resident and non-resident traffic violators.

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