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Driving offence legislation Europe wide

Feb 26, 2015
From 6 May 2015 drivers convicted of a road traffic offence in any of the 28 EU Member States, will be prosecuted in the same way as if they had committed the offence in their home country. The regulations will come into force in the UK, Ireland and Denmark two years later (6 May 2017).

On 17 December the Permanent Representatives Committee approved a compromise agreed with the European Parliament on a draft directive on the cross-border exchange of information on road traffic offences. Under the directive, Member States may access each other's national vehicle registration data in order to track persons liable for certain offences that jeopardise road safety.

This data-sharing covers eight major road-safety-related offences: speeding, not using a seatbelt, failing to stop at red lights, drink driving, driving under the influence of drugs, not wearing a safety helmet, using a forbidden lane, and illegally using a mobile phone, or any other communications device, while driving. 

The new legal basis – transport – means that the directive will apply to all 28 Member States. As the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark have a special position with regard to police cooperation, these countries have not been applying the previous directive. As they will need to make an additional effort to put the system in place, they will have two more years to adopt their national provisions: until 6 May 2017 instead of 6 May 2015. 

The new directive still has to be formally approved first by the Parliament and then by the Council (first-reading agreement). Final adoption is expected to take place in the next few months.

It will enter into force four days after it is published in the EU Official Journal.

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