On 12 April 2019 the one-month feedback period for the revision of the Cross-Border
Enforcement Directive ended. The EAC contributed feedback to the amended proposal
for a revision of the Directive. The Cross-Border Enforcement Directive gives national authorities access to the vehicle registers of other Member States via an electronic
information system which allows the identification of the suspected non-resident offender when it was impossible to stop the vehicle and/or identify the driver. Once the person suspected of having committed a traffic offence has been identified, the Member State in
which the offence was committed will decide whether to initiate follow-up proceedings. The
Directive lays down how the offence is to be communicated to the person concerned and
contains a (non-binding) template for the letter to be sent.
The amendment of the Directive is in line with the principles of road safety policy framework for 2021-2030, adopted on 16 May 2018 as part of the Third mobility package on road safety. The basic issue identified by the European Commission is the high number of offenders from abroad that go unpunished. According to the Commission, in 2015, “half of the detected road traffic offences committed by non-residents were not investigated and approximately half of the financial penalties for those road traffic offences by non-residents that had been
investigated were not successfully enforced” (Inception Impact Assessment, 15/03/2019).
The Commission identified two main problems. First, the investigation to enforce financial
penalties is inadequate due to issues with the detection of vehicles, vehicle registers and the
provision of information on the offence (e.g. evidence). Secondly, the recognition of decisions on financial penalties is also inadequate since mutual recognition procedures of the Member States' administrative or judicial decisions following minor offences are often times ineffective or non-transparent. Moreover, different levels of fundamental rights protection translated into problems such as not translated follow-up documents, missing evidence or different deadlines for non-residents and residents. In addition to these major problems, the revision should amend the Directive to the new personal data protection rules (i.e. GDPR), and possibly extend the scope to non-road-safety matters such as non-payment of road charges. The EAC stressed in its feedback the need for improvement concerning the easy access to road safety traffic rules in force in different Member States, in particular regarding traffic offenses and their corresponding (financial) penalties. Moreover, car owner’s as well as car driver’s personal data have to be processed abiding duly by the principles of the GDPR, ePrivacy Directive as well as the Directive on the processing of personal data by public authorities in criminal offenses, ensuring their traceability at all times in a simple and transparent manner. The EAC also emphasized the need for further standardization of road safety rules such as harmonized regulations on high-visibility vests which would simplify the cross-border enforcement of road safety rules.