The EU’s Licence Gaffe

There may be Trouble Ahead with the Third European Driving Licence Directive

Right to Ride has just received a press release from the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) reporting on what appears to be a major gaffe by the European Commission and Parliament regarding the Third European Driving Licence Directive.

It seems that the European bodies forgot to discuss the new licence categories with the UNECE to ensure that all the licences could be recognised outside the European Union.

Upon receiving the press release we trawled through the UNECE WP 1 documentation and found that this issue – which specifically focuses on the AM (moped) and A2 (intermediate motorcycle up to 35kW power output) categories – was raised at the Sixty-second session held in Geneva between the 26–29 September 2011.

Specifically, items 17 and 18 under Decision 5: Convention on Road Traffic (1968)

17/18. WP.1 discussed the apparent “driving permit categories and sub-categories” divergences found in the “EU Driver Licence Directive” of December 2006 and the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic. WP.1 agreed that ECE secretariat would send a letter to the EU and its member states to inform about possible non-conformity of the “EU Driver Directive” to Annex 6 of the 1968 Convention.

What this means is that anybody travelling outside the European Union to countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the Middle East, Africa and beyond – could find themselves in difficulties as these countries would not recognise these categories and effectively a rider could be stopped and even arrested for not holding an appropriate licence.

As the FIM press release mentions, it could be the case whereby a tourist hires a moped, but only has an AM licence – which would not be valid outside the EU – and could possibly end up being fined or worse!

As mentioned in the FIM press release, this directive was voted on and passed in the European Parliament in 2006. It was to be transposed into national legislation by 19th January 2011 and enter into force as of 19th January 2013.

We are now in October 2011, member state countries are gearing up to introduce the new categories (including here in Northern Ireland where Right To Ride has just received an invitation to take part in a Stakeholders’ Group for the implementation of this directive).

What now?

Well, it seems that the very slow moving UNECE WP1 will send a letter and we presume will wait for a reply. It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this “Gaffe” will be.

In the meantime…. Let’s face the music and dance (or in this case ride).

Read the full article – FIM Press Release – and comment on Right To Ride EU – Click Here

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