Our latest round-up of road safety news from across Europe – courtesy of TISPOL – includes fears over a rise in the number of unlicensed drivers in France.
Data released to a French radio station by the road safety organisation Prevention Routiere shows there are currently 68,000 unlicensed drivers on French roads – representing 1.4% of all drivers.
The number of unlicensed drivers has almost doubled over the last 10 years – while they are involved in 4.5% of fatal collisions.
Around two thirds of unlicensed drivers have never taken the test, and it is believed that the high cost of getting a licence – around €1,500 on average – is a factor in the increase.
Across the border in Spain, new legislation has come into force permitting traffic police to examine a driver’s mobile phone after a serious road collision.
The move is designed to allow officers to scrutinise calls made and received prior to a crash, providing a better understanding of whether a driver was using the device at the time of a collision.
In Spain, the offence incurs a €200 fine, plus the loss of three points from a driving licence.
Meanwhile in Finland, a study of 2018 casualty figures has found that young men aged 15-24 years are three times more likely to die in a traffic collision.
The study, carried out by the Finnish Road Safety Council, concluded that collisions involving young men ‘usually include the same handful of elements’ – including speeding, failure to wear safety belts and drunk driving.
However, Satu Tuomikoski, the Finnish Road Safety Council’s education manager, says only a small portion of young people behave dangerously in traffic, and most young adults are stringently against driving under the influence.
Finally in Ireland, more than 2,000 disqualified drivers can drive without the threat of being stopped by police because their ban has not been recorded properly on a central database, new figures suggest.
The Road Safety Authority statistics show that of the 10,240 bans issued last year, 2,286 could not be linked to a licence – up from 2,042 in 2017 and 1,685 in 2016.
Road safety groups in Ireland have expressed concerns that the failure to record bans is putting lives at risk.