EU plans for a revision of the driving licence directive entail extensive changes for motorists. European Automobile Clubs (EAC) supports the efforts to improve road safety. However, the latest draft report published by rapporteur Karima Delli contains proposed amendments that disproportionately restrict novice and senior drivers and have a negative impact on road safety.
The proposed amendment provides for the introduction of reduced periods of administrative validity on driving licences of holders, who have reached the age of 60 years. The majority of EAC members reject a temporal limitation solely for reasons of age and the introduction of legally binding medical health checks to verify fitness to drive. Instead, voluntary roadworthiness test and accompanying counselling measures should be promoted.
From EAC´s point of view, the proposed introduction of a new driving licence category B+ for passenger cars with a weight of more than 1800 kg is out of line with reality. This would mainly affect novice drivers, who would only be allowed to drive cars with less than 1800 kg. The use of a heavier family car to consolidate the skills learned in driving training would thus no longer be allowed for young drivers. Apart from the additional costs for the purchase of a light passenger car and a required additional driving licence class, the proposed amendment fails to recognise that modern vehicles, especially electric cars, are becoming heavier due to the equipment, but the safety devices are adapted to the vehicle weight accordingly.
EAC-President Holger Küster:
"Instead of banning heavy vehicles, novice drivers should be trained to become safe drivers through appropriate driver training and practice. The partly disproportionate and patronising amendments disregard the autonomy of the Member States and the individual responsibility of the citizens - generalized restrictions on novice drivers and senior citizens go too far."
The EAC demands that measures to check fitness to drive should be the responsibility of the Member States and that novice and senior drivers should not be restricted.