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Mobility & Transport - Road Safety

Revision of Directive on cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences


Cross-border enforcement of road traffic rules

Type of initiative

Legislative/revision of Directive (EU) 2015/413 (the CBE Directive)

Background to the initiative

The CBE Directive aims to protect road users by helping authorities in different EU countries share information on traffic offences related to road safety (speeding, failing to use a seat belt, failing to stop at a red traffic light, drink-driving, driving while under the influence of drugs, failing to wear a safety helmet, the use of a forbidden lane, and illegally using a mobile telephone or any other communication devices while driving). This makes it easier to impose sanctions for offences committed by vehicles registered in an EU country other than the one in which the offence took place.

The Directive ensures that drivers who commit road traffic offences abroad no longer remain anonymous. However, drivers are still able to act with impunity: around half of foreign offenders escape punishment due to offences not being investigated properly and complicated procedures for mutual recognition of administrative or judicial decisions on financial penalties between EU countries.

Moreover, the Commission has received numerous complaints from the public about fundamental rights, especially to do with appeals against road traffic offences allegedly committed abroad, including: different deadlines for non-residents and residents on the submission of penalty notices by EU countries missing or unclear information on the appeals procedure in the penalty notice missing evidence untranslated prosecution documents unclear information on how to settle road traffic penalties.

Political background

In June 2017, the Transport Council adopted conclusions on road safety endorsing the Valletta Declaration (ST-8666-2017-REV-1). The Commission was asked to strengthen the EU’s road safety legal framework to lower the number of road deaths, which have seen little improvement over the last 3 years. Aside from the obvious suffering, the high numbers of deaths and serious injuries in road crashes causes unacceptable social costs. Despite unprecedented drop in traffic volumes due to COVID pandemic (reduction by 70-85% in major European cities), still 18 844 people lost their lives on the EU roads in 2020. In monetary terms alone, the yearly cost of road crashes has been estimated in a new study to be around EUR 280 billion, equivalent to about 2% of EU GDP.

Timing of the initiative: Q1 2019 — Q1 2023

1. Open public consultation

All EU citizens who drive abroad and organisations or businesses engaged in road traffic within EU are invited to contribute to this consultation.

Objective of the consultation:

This public consultation collects views and information for the initiative to revise the CBE Directive aimed at improving cross-border procedures to enforce road traffic rules, including protection of citizens’ fundamental rights.

The initiative aims to improve cross-border investigation of road traffic offences and cross-border enforcement of sanctions for these offences, particularly of financial penalties. In this way, all EU road users will be treated equally - and will be equally responsible for road safety - whether they are residents of a Member State or just foreigners passing through it.

An accompanying impact assessment looks into possible policy options to address the identified issues and estimates their associated costs and benefits.

You are invited to fill in the online public questionnaire available on in all EU official languages.

2. Targeted consultations

The Commission has engaged external consultants - ECORYS consortium - to carry out an impact assessment support study (MOVE/C2/SER/2019-425/SI2.819667) to inform the Commission Impact Assessment in the revision of the CBE Directive, which will have to extend to other policy areas such as police and justice cooperation. The objectives of the study are to develop and assess evidence-based policy to improve road safety through better cross-border enforcement of road traffic rules. Nevertheless, the study also includes an analysis on mutual recognition of driving disqualifications that might suggest the need for adaptations of other EU legislation, such as Directive 2006/126/EC on driving licences, to ensure consistent approach in cross-border enforcement of road traffic rules. Any initiative for such revision will be however subject to separate impact assessments.

The consultants already launched the following targeted online surveys on the elements of the impact assessment concerning stakeholders specified in the consultation strategy, such as Member States’ authorities, NGOs active in road safety and various associations representing business companies, road users and local government:

  • Four surveys (ministries of interior, justice and transport; police, justice and transport authorities; road safety NGOs and road users NGOs) about, statistical data on road traffic offences, legal framework, procedures, possible measures and impacts related to investigation of road traffic offenses and enforcement of sanctions for these offences, accomplished between 27 November and 22 December 2020;
  • Two surveys (ministries of interior, justice and transport; police, justice and transport authorities) about assessment of impacts of possible measures related to investigation of road traffic offenses and enforcement of sanctions for these offences, accomplished between 31 May and 24 June 2021;
  • Two surveys (road users NGOs, road transport NGOs and associations of municipalities) on the application of urban vehicles access regulations and driving disqualifications, accomplished between 24 April and 26 May 2021.

The consultant organized two stakeholder workshops:

  • On 26 June 2020, to discuss problem analysis;
  • On 14 January 2021, to discuss possible policy measures.

3. Stakeholder consultation report

4. Feedback from the publication of the Commission proposal

5. Background documents


For more information or additional questions, please contact: rudolf [dot] koronthalyatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (rudolf[dot]koronthaly[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)