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One Europe: Regulating Car Crashes And Phone Calls, Across The Frontiers …

  • July 7th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

cars-ld-resize5.jpgmobile-phone-girls.jpgNo more ducking over the nearest national border to evade responsibility for a road crash, with a new law set to catch the more serious offenders.

At the same time, fresh efforts are being made by the EU to end rip-offs against people wanting to use their cell phone in a neighbouring country.

It’s all in the name of benefits to citizens, in a common  cultural space and a single economy, and domain of law.

THEY MAY RUN BUT THEY CAN’T HIDE

The European Parliament has announced that an EU Directive is now being prepared to implement the change in traffic laws, for trans-border punishment of offenders:-

“EU states will soon be swapping car registration details regularly to track down drivers who have committed serious traffic offences while in another EU country, after Parliament gave its backing to the plans on Wednesday (8.7.11).

“The new directive will improve road safety and make all offenders equal before the law, including those living outside the country where they commit an offence.

“After more than three years of debate, this agreement is a first, very important step towards ending the sense of impunity by some drivers and reducing the number of casualties on our roads”, said rapporteur Inés Ayala Sender (S&D, Spain).

The statement from the Parliament says Member States will have to provide details of the driver or holder of the vehicle registration certificate to the authorities of the country where an offence took place.

These will then send the offender a strictly private registered letter informing them of the offence committed as well as any punishment due, appeal procedures and legal consequences.

Any fine and payment method will be based on the law of the state where the offence occurred.

It said there would be data privacy provisions and provision for files on offenders to be compulsorily deleted once a case is closed.

Offences covered by the new rules are speeding, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, not wearing seatbelts, going through a red light, not wearing crash helmets, using bus lanes and other banned thoroughfares, and illegal use of mobile phones or other communication equipment while driving.

The road regulation is in the area of co-legislation, meaning the Parliament’s Directive now needs to be unanimously approved by the Council of Ministers, com ign from the national governments.

Assuming it goes straight through, Member States will then have 24 months to apply the new rules — except for Ireland, the UK and Denmark, which are remaining outside the system for now.

THEY MAY PHONE BUT PAY TOO MUCH

Ducking across borders with mobile phones is also a long-running saga.

The European Commission first moved to get cross-border roaming prices down to much cheaper, fairly standardised lecels, in 2007.

It has declared now that despite some major progress with consumers being able to get a better deal, legal wholesaling and retailing arranmgements for phone services have still permitted companies to load on extra when a phone is taken, often a very short distance, into a neighbouring area.

It is now launching new regulations designed to tighten up, especially in trying to force more “competitive and innovative” behaviours in the industry.

It’ll be appling the two principles of wholesale access obligations, meaning suppliers will have the right to buy more capacity, which they can sell on cheap; and guarantees that consumers can buy roaming packages, outside of the contract with their regular retail supplier of mobile phone services.

Reference

European Parliament, Brussels, “Traffic offences abroad: no hiding place”, Transport, ref.20110705IPR23382, 6.7.11.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/en/pressroom/content/20110705IPR23382/html/Traffic-offences-abroad-no-hiding-place,(7.7.11).

European Commission, Brussels,”Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliamentand of the Council, on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union.”
COM(2011) 402 final,2011/0187 (COD), 6.7.11.

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