Vote on Cross-Border Traffic Offences: Drivers need clear information for real safety benefits, says FIA
6 July 2011
New legislation on cross-border traffic offences should increase awareness of different Member State traffic rules, while also deterring dangerous driving, according to the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), which represents 35 million motoring consumers via 71 member Clubs in Europe. But the FIA warned that unless rules for drivers are clear, the legislation will have limited impact. This follows a second-reading vote in the European Parliament today.
“Every summer thousands of families take their car across borders on holiday. The new directive should help raise awareness of different driving rules across the EU, while also deterring traffic offences such as speeding, drink-driving, or not wearing a seat belt”, said Jacob Bangsgaard, Director General, FIA Region I. “But citizens will only reap the full benefits of this legislation, provided the directive plays its full role as a deterrent against dangerous driving, and does not simply cause confusion through a lack of information”, he said. In order to facilitate compliance with the rules, the FIA has consistently called for the harmonisation of EU traffic rules to prevent any involuntary offence.
“The directive should have a pedagogic dimension for offenders, which is why the exchange of information should contain enough elements for citizens to understand clearly the nature of their offence. Information should be sent in their native language and drafted in a simple way”, Mr Bangsgaard continued. FIA Clubs have said they are willing to contribute to set up the European Commission information website for citizens travelling across borders. At the same time, however, the FIA emphasises the importance of respecting data protection rules, protecting the privacy and personal details of drivers both when at home and abroad.
The FIA also raised its concern that by applying the rules to specific geographical areas, rather than applying them equally across the EU, the legislation’s impact could be lessened. Mr Bangsgaard commented, “Close monitoring is required as it is likely that further modifications will be needed in future years, in particular on the real impact of the directive on the number of road fatalities and on its geographical scope.” He concluded that, “The directive’s legitimacy will ultimately derive from the number of lives it saves”.
Note to Editors:
The report from Rapporteur Ms Ayala Sender (S&D Group) on the cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences was adopted today by a majority of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (6 July) in its second reading. The position is now submitted to the Council which has three months to act before the legislation comes into force.
The future directive aims to establish a system of cross-border information exchange, allowing member states to identify drivers from other EU countries who have committed offences on their territory, while also allowing Member States to impose fines.
FIA European Bureau: Who do we represent?
The FIA European Bureau represents 71 Touring and Motoring clubs in the European Union, which total more than 35 million members. We represent the interest of these members as motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and tourists.
The FIA’s primary goal is to secure a mobility that is safe, affordable, sustainable and efficient at EU level. With these aims in mind our work focuses on Road Safety, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, and the promotion of Sustainable Motoring.
For more information please contact Niall Carty, FIA Region I, Communications Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tel: 0032 2 282 0812 or 0032 486 650 216).