The Transport Committee presented a draft for new driving license guidelines to the EU Parliament on Tuesday – and it’s quite something. Among other things, there should be a ban on driving at night for novice drivers.
The European Union wants to revise its driving license guidelines. On Tuesday, the Transport Committee of the EU Parliament presented a draft for discussion that could significantly change the current regulations. The proposal particularly affects novice drivers and seniors.
The aim is to reduce the number of accident deaths to zero by 2050 as part of the “Vision Zero” project. To this end, the committee is proposing a series of changes to traffic law that could not only mean restrictions for drivers, but also higher costs. This is reported by several media outlets, citing the Austrian “Kronen Zeitung”.
Speed limit of 90 for novice drivers, regular driving tests for seniors: EU Parliament is discussing new driving license guidelines
Among other things, the committee proposes to introduce a speed limit of 90 km/h for novice drivers. This makes it easier to identify speeders and reduce the number of accident victims caused by excessive speed. However, overtaking on motorways or country roads would be almost impossible.
These eight cars are suitable for novice drivers
But the speed limit is not the only suggestion for new drivers. The committee also proposes a second test for the probationary driving license. Accordingly, candidates would have to complete a second test after passing the probationary period in order to be allowed to drive alone.
Another suggestion is a night driving ban for inexperienced drivers. The background is the so-called “disco accidents”, which often occur at night. They play an important role in traffic fatalities. As t-online.de reports, one in six accidents resulting in personal injury in 2018 was caused by a young adult. Between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., 161 young drivers died in traffic accidents – twice as many as other age groups. One in six victims died at night on the weekend. In other age groups, this is only the case for one in 20 victims. Apparently reason enough for the EU Transport Committee to propose restricting night driving for young drivers.
Report for seniors: Driver’s license should only be valid for a limited period once the age limit is reached
The second target group that the committee pays particular attention to is seniors. Additional controls for older road users have been discussed for years. The draft suggests that drivers’ licenses should be limited after a certain age. This means: from the age of 60 it would only be valid for seven years. Five years from the age of 70 and two years from the age of 80. In addition, there are extensive reports when renewing the driving license.
Another notable proposal concerns the permissible weight of driving license groups. The maximum weight of cars is to be reduced from the current 3,500 to 1,800 kilograms. And a speed limit of 110 km/h applies. In order to drive a heavier car, you would need an additional driving license, which you can only get from the age of 21.
The aim of this proposal is to prevent novice drivers from driving directly in large and high-powered cars. The draft states: “Particularly heavy passenger vehicles (SUVs) are […] more vulnerable to collisions than light passenger vehicles. As ever larger and heavier vehicles are brought onto the market in the EU, the Class B driving license is no longer suitable for these vehicles.”
How exactly such a regulation should be controlled remains open. In addition, as things stand today, some vehicles that are not particularly large, especially those with electric drives, would no longer be permitted for class B license holders because they would be too heavy.
No decision yet: changes to the draft are possible
Anyone who is already worried about their driver’s license or vehicle can sit back and relax. The Transport Committee’s draft is by no means a decision. Parliament and the member states must first vote on it. Changes are still possible during this process.
If the draft is ultimately adopted in some form, the EU member states must adhere to it. It remains to be seen whether this will even be the case.
I’m a recent graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism. I started working as a news reporter for 24 Hours World about two years ago, and I’ve been writing articles ever since. My main focus is automotive news, but I’ve also written about politics, lifestyle, and entertainment.