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Brussels, 6 April 2011

Driving licences: Commission requests seven Member States to comply with new EU measures on fitness to drive

The European Commission has today asked Italy, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Denmark, Poland and Slovenia to adopt national legislation updating requirements for physical and mental fitness to drive in accordance with their obligations under European Union law. The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures. If these Member States fail to inform the Commission within two months of what measures they have taken to ensure full compliance with the law, the Commission could refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

The EU rules

Two directives adopted in 2009 (Directive 2009/112/EC and Directive 2009/113/EC) have updated and adapted to scientific progress the minimum standards of physical and mental fitness for driving a power-driven vehicle contained in the driving licence directives (Directive 91/439/EEC which is applicable now and Directive 2006/126/EC which will be applicable from 2013). The amendments review the existing minimum requirements on eyesight, diabetes and epilepsy.

The reason for today's action

Italy, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Denmark, Poland and Slovenia still have failed to notify transposition of these two Directives into national law to the Commission, although they were required to do so by 15 September 2010.

The practical effect of non-implementation

The 2009 amending directives represent an advantage to people with less-than-perfect eyesight, diabetes or epilepsy because they adapt previous fitness requirements to scientific progress made in the treatment of these impairments and offer those affected extended opportunities to drive a vehicle while fully safeguarding road safety.

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/220.

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