The reform of the EU driving license rules is being negotiated in the EU Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee. Some sensational proposals are currently causing so much head shaking that the implementation of the ideas must seem questionable. They come from French Green MP Karima Delli. These include mandatory medical reports to determine the “physical and mental fitness” of elderly drivers, which would place a high financial burden on pension recipients. Or the proposal for a speed limit and night driving bans for novice drivers.
Delli’s idea of a weight limit for class B driving licenses of 1.8 tonnes is also controversial. With this driver’s license class, many heavy SUV models would no longer be drivable (Delli would like to introduce its own driver’s license class for this), but also a large number of electrically powered cars due to the heavy power storage. Vans will then no longer be allowed to be driven, with direct consequences for the labor market, where drivers are already lacking.
Strong concerns from the German Greens
Criticism of Delli’s proposals comes not only from the conservative parties; party members are also surprised by the move. Transport politician and German Green MEP Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg says: “We as the German Greens have expressed strong concerns from a German perspective from the beginning.” The EU Parliament would like to vote on the report in the Transport Committee in December 2023. In March, the EU Commission initiated a discussion on the topic. In the end, the governments of the EU states have to decide on new rules.
Tried and tested things have a chance of being implemented
The new rules are intended to replace the driving license directive 2006/126/EC from December 2006. The Commission writes that it will “review the current Driving License Directive, adopted in 2006, to improve road safety and facilitate free movement. The initiative will (…) contribute to the EU’s objectives set out in the Smart Strategy and sustainable mobility by 2020.” Among other things, this sets out the goal of reducing the number of accidents and victims. The “Vision Zero” program aims to reduce the number of road deaths in the EU to zero by 2050.
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What will probably be adopted for the entire EU is the probationary driving license, which has already existed in Germany for years, and “accompanied driving” from the age of 17, which was introduced a little later in this country. There should also be a better awareness of those new to driving licenses for weaker road users who travel on foot or by bike.
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