Just a few weeks ago, the  European Parliament supported the reform of driving license regulations with the aim of contributing to the improvement of road safety and the green and digital transition of the EU. Among the proposed measures are the introduction of a mobile driving license, with the aim of promoting the single market. 

It also included other proposals related to obtaining a driving license. Once the measures are approved, it will include tests related to the safe use of mobile phones, driving on snow and the need to guarantee the safe opening of vehicle doors. We have all opened a car door without first making sure we are not taking a risk, haven’t we?

But the European Parliament does not want to stop there, and that is why its proposal also includes the possibility of lowering the minimum age to obtain a driving license, to 17 years old

The request is based on the successful experience of countries such as Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic, where for years it has been possible to obtain a license at that age. 

However, it is necessary for young drivers to be accompanied by an adult over 24 years of age who has at least five years’ experience behind the wheel. In addition, inexperienced drivers, regardless of their age, will have to pass a trial period of at least two years, during which they will be subject to some restrictions, including stricter limits on alcohol consumption and higher penalties for dangerous driving.

Early but safe driving

The measures proposed by the European Parliament have been generally well received by the majority of agents in the sector. This is the case of driving schools, for which lowering the age at which it is possible to obtain a license could serve as an incentive to overcome the lack of interest that millennials and Gen Z show when it comes to obtaining their driving license compared to previous generations. 

However, these changes should take into account a series of conditions. In fact, taking advantage of the review of the driving license directive, the European Association of Driving Schools (EFA) issued a strategic document in which it included some points that, in its opinion, are essential when it comes to creating a true awareness of road safety in Europe.

Among these points is the so-called staged access to the driving license. This model proposes starting with a provisional permit that establishes a series of restrictions, such as, for example, not authorizing these drivers to drive at night, or on highways, or with an alcohol level greater than 0, or without supervision. Once this stage has been passed, the final permit will be issued. 

This proposal has been put on the table and perhaps the European organization will adopt it in the future. Although, before that, we have the June elections to look forward to.

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