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EU strengthens cooperation in the field of road offences committed abroad

A recurring problem in the European Union is that a significant proportion of road offences committed abroad are never recovered. This could encourage drivers to be less compliant abroad than in their home Member State. In 2015, the EU adopted a Directive ('the Directive') to strengthen the exchange of information between Member States to enable them to act more quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively against offenders.

Although the Directive has been an important step forward in the area of road offences, the proportion of offences committed abroad that go unpunished is still very high (~40%). To improve the situation, on 24 April 2024 the European Parliament adopted a number of measures.

One of the most important changes is the obligation for national authorities to reply to a request from an authority of another Member State within two months at the latest. In addition, at the request of the Member State of the offence, the state of residence may take over the collection of the fine if the amount exceeds €70. The latter is expected to greatly affect the collection of such fines.

The list of offences committed by non-resident drivers that trigger cross-border assistance is also extended, covering offences such as dangerous parking or dangerous overtaking. Another important innovation is that, at the initiative of the EP, private organisations will be banned from assisting in the collection of traffic fines after two years of transposition. The latter became an increasing problem in the previous years, since the collection of these fines was often entrusted to private companies, which significantly increased the amount to be paid.

The next step will be discussed by the European Council and, once adopted, Member States will have 30 months to prepare for the implementation.