Revision of Directive (EU) 2015/413 on cross-border exchange of information on road-safety-related traffic offences

Briefing 29-03-2023

When it comes to road safety, the EU is the world leader by far. Over the past 20 years, the number of people killed on roads has decreased by 60 %, from around 51 400 in 2001 to around 20 600 in 2022. However, since 2014, this decrease has stagnated, with hardly any drop in the number of road fatalities in the years between then and 2020. Moreover, improvements in road safety have not been significant enough to meet the EU's 2010 and 2020 objectives for reducing road death numbers. Much more will need to be done to achieve the EU's ambitious objectives of halving fatalities in road transport by 2030 and reducing them to close to zero by 2050. While enforcement of traffic rules contributes to road safety, many non-resident road offenders have long enjoyed impunity in the EU. In 2011, to improve enforcement of financial penalties for traffic offences committed by non-resident drivers, the EU adopted a directive on facilitating cross-border exchange of information on road safety-related traffic offences (Directive 2011/82/EU). Its successor, Directive (EU) 2015/413 (the 'CBE Directive') pursued two main goals: to improve road safety – helping Member States' authorities to prosecute offenders by allowing the person behind the vehicle's registration to be disclosed – and to ensure equal treatment for resident and non-resident drivers. In 2016, an ex-post evaluation carried out by the European Commission pinpointed major shortcomings of both the CBE Directive and its implementation: while the directive had helped remove the anonymity of foreign offenders by increasing significantly the number of cross-border cases investigated, it was considered insufficient for removing the offenders' impunity. To tackle this issue, the Commission adopted a proposal amending the CBE Directive on 1 March 2023.