Common punishments for serious driving infractions are set to be proposed by the end of this year. In the words of the EU’s transport commissioner, this will “give the fight against road violence a European dimension”.
The harmonisation of mutual recognition from one member state to another would concern offences such as breaking speed limits, alcohol at the wheel and not wearing safety belts.
In Brussels, marking the first European Road Safety Day, Jacques Barrot specifically addressed young drivers.
He said: “You must be the generation to win the battle against road danger.”
Barrot talked about efficient information exchange and common certification standards for equipment such as speed detection radar. These are key elements in his plan.
He said without applying sanctions, there would be no mobilising of all European citizens’ responsibility.
“This future directive which I am going to have adopted by the Commission will permit sanctions to be applied wherever they are committed, even if the person who commits the offence changes country in the EU. That includes if he drives through another member state en route to his own.”
One of the EU’s main goals in this domain is to halve the number of road deaths there were in 2001 by the end of this decade; That was 50,000. Last year 38,500 people were killed in road accidents in the EU.
The Road Safety Day subtext was ‘Youth On The Road, Road Safety is No Accident’.