In a landmark decision, members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism have endorsed the revision of European Union (EU) rules regarding driving licenses with 22 votes in favor, 21 against, and two abstentions, according to the ANA-MPA.

With over 20,000 lives lost on EU roads annually, Members of European Parliament (MEPs) aim to ensure that the new rules contribute to road safety, alongside the EU’s green and digital transition.

Under the proposed changes, driving licenses for motorcycles, cars, and tractors would be valid for at least 15 years, while those for trucks and buses would be valid for five years, with certain exceptions. Additionally, health checks would become mandatory when issuing and renewing driving licenses.

New drivers would undergo a probationary driving period of at least two years, during which stricter penalties for unsafe driving and a limit of 0.2 g/l of alcohol while driving, would apply.

In a bid to address the shortage of professional drivers, MEPs have agreed to allow individuals aged 18 to obtain a license for trucks or buses carrying up to 16 passengers, provided they possess a professional competence certificate. If not, the age limit increases to 21. Moreover, 17-year-olds could also qualify for a truck driving license if accompanied by an experienced driver.

Acknowledging the evolving landscape of transportation, the committee underscored the necessity to adapt training and testing procedures to encompass the growing presence of pedestrians, cyclists, as well as users of electric scooters and bicycles. This initiative intends to equip drivers with the necessary skills to navigate these diverse road users effectively and safely.

To support the EU’s single market, MEPs advocate for drivers to have the option of obtaining a digital driving license available on a mobile phone, fully equivalent to the physical license.