Commission's proposal for road safety package modernises the driving licence regulation
On 1 March 2023, the European Commission published its proposal for a road safety package. The package includes proposals for revising the Directive on driving licences and the Directive on facilitating cross-border exchange of information on road-safety-related traffic offences (CBE Directive), and for a new Directive on the Union-wide effect of certain driving disqualifications.
The Commission aims to modernise the regulation on driving licences. At the same time, cross-border enforcement and supervision of road traffic rules will be enhanced.
The proposal for the driving licence Directive would allow persons aged 16 years or more to drive vehicles with a maximum mass of 2,500 kg and a maximum speed of up to 45 km/h, if the driver holds a driving licence granted for category B1. The proposal that includes regulation with resemblance to that on lightweight cars is in line with Finland’s objectives of exerting influence.
According to the proposal, a 17-year-old person could drive passenger cars, vans and lorries if accompanied with a person who meets certain requirements. After passing the driving test, a two-year trial period would apply to all new drivers.
Holders of category B driving licence would be allowed to drive vehicles weighing no more than 4,250 kg and powered by alternative fuels, once two years have passed since the issue of the driving licence.
It is also proposed that EU driving licences be digital by default.
The CBE Directive proposed by the Commission would facilitate cooperation between national law enforcement authorities in the investigation of traffic offences. For example, law enforcement authorities would be given access to national driving licence registers. In addition, the scope of application of the Directive would be expanded.
The proposal for a Directive on driving disqualifications applies to EU-wide disqualifications. They would be imposed for the most serious road traffic offences.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications will carefully examine the Commission’s proposals and inform Parliament of them. Finland will formulate its own positions on the Commission’s proposals. Stakeholders will be heard in the course of this formulation.
The negotiations on the proposals will begin in spring 2023 in the Working Party on Land Transport of the Council of Ministers and at the same time in the European Parliament.
Saara Louko, Senior Specialist, saara.louko(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 50 326 4741 (driving licence directive, directive on EU-wide driving bans)
Monika Mutanen, Senior Specialist, monika.mutanen(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 50 478 4820 (driving licence directive, directive on EU-wide driving bans)
Konsta Arvelin, Senior Specialist, konsta.arvelin(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 50 410 3884 (CBE Directive)
Sofia Johansson, Senior Officer, sofia.johansson(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 50 573 7908 (CBE directive)