Driving licence ban laws supported by European Parliament could have massive impact on motorists

Driving licence ban laws supported by European Parliament could have massive impact on motorists

WATCH: Transport Secretary Mark Harper pledges to support drivers

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 08/02/2024

- 10:49

One MEP said he was positive that the proposals would reduce road accidents

The European Parliament is looking to change laws surrounding driving licences which could see continent-wide driving bans.

A recent vote saw 372 members of the European Parliament vote in favour of plans to implement driving bans that would apply across the continent.

If someone has a French driving licence but commits offences in a different country that leads to a driving ban, the ban only applies in the other country.

The European Parliament is now looking to end this loophole, despite 220 members voting against the proposals and 41 MEPs abstaining.

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Driving licence

The driving licence plans passed the most recent vote in the European Parliament


Generally, if someone has a driving licence in one European Union country, they are able to drive in all EU nations, DW reported.

When a motorist loses their licence in the country where it is issued or faces a driving ban, they cannot drive legally anywhere in the EU.

However, if someone is banned in a country where their licence is not registered, the penalties and restrictions only apply in that country.

This loophole means that they will not face sanctions in their country of residence or across the rest of the European Union.

The rules were first put forward in March last year under new proposals designed to meet the Vision Zero strategy that looks to cut fatalities and serious injuries on EU roads to zero by 2050.

Peter Vitanov, a Bulgarian member of the European Parliament, said he was positive that the proposals would reduce road accidents.

He added that it would create greater awareness among drivers and make them more responsible on the roads across the continent.

Other suggestions from the European Parliament include driving without a valid licence to a list of severe traffic offences, like drink driving or causing a fatal car accident.

This would automatically result in EU states sharing information about drivers and whether they are disqualified from being behind the wheel.

At present, motorists who are found to drive 50km/h (31mph) over the speed limit are considered to be committing a severe traffic offence.

New proposals put forward earlier this week would see the threshold lowered to 30km/h (18.6mph) above the legal limit in residential areas.

Driving licence changes were rolled out across the European Union in January 2013 to ensure that all licences have the same look and feel.


International Driving Permit

International Driving Permits are still required by some Britons to drive in Europe


All licences are plastic and have the same shape and size as a credit card to ensure the EU has a harmonised licence model that applies across all member states.

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