Feeds

EU plans cross border database of rogue motorists

Votre carte, Monsieur Clarkson

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Are you one of those safe-as-pie drivers, who tootles merrily along the by-ways of this green and pleasant land, before turning into Mr Demon Boy Racer the moment you cross the Channel? Or do you simply tut grumpily over your breakfast, as you open your Daily Mail and read of yet another Johny Foreigner abusing the hospitality of our road system? And getting off scot free for the most egregious of motoring offences?

Either way, all that is about to change, as the European Parliament sets its sights on those drivers who think they can commit motoring offences with impunity - just so long as its in someone else's country.

On Tuesday, the European Parliament's Transport Committee voted overwhelmingly in favour of a draft directive, which would make it easier for national authorities to fine drivers from other EU countries for offences committed on their territory. Initially, this measure will be targeted at four offences - speeding, drink-driving, non-use of a seatbelt and failing to stop at a red traffic light - which currently account for some for 75 per cent of road deaths.

Over time, however, MEPs are interested in extending the law to cover other traffic infringements such as driving whilst under the influence of drugs, using mobile phones or uninsured.

The scheme would be facilitated by "an electronic data exchange network". EU states would identify the holder of a vehicle registration document and forward the traffic offence data to the driver's national authority. They would then send the vehicle owner notice of an offence committed, requesting payment of a fine.

This proposal is part of a European Commission initiative to halve road deaths in Europe between 2001 and 2010. So far - despite significant reductions in France and Portugal - they are not doing too well. Road deaths across the 27-member EU bloc have fallen from 54,000 at the start of the decade to 43,000 in 2007, which makes the target of reducing the total to 27,000 within the next two years especially challenging.

There are huge disparities in road safety within the region. On the whole, road travel is most dangerous in Greece and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. You are three times more likely to die on the roads in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia than in Sweden and the Netherlands, which have among the safest roads in Europe.

The vote on this proposal was carried by 49 in favour, with none against and one abstention. Speaking afterward, the Committee's rapporteur, Spanish Socialist Inés Ayala Sender, highlighted the issue of perceived unfairness in local communities, who saw 'outsiders' getting away with crimes for which locals would be punished. According to Ms Ayala: "With this directive we provide Member States' authorities with an instrument that could end EU foreigners' impunity ... we say no to first and second league's citizens."

The draft measures will now be passed to the EU Council for debate on 9 October and, assuming no major objections, could be approved by 8 December. Member states will then have two years in which to implement the measures.

Meanwhile, fears that this could be a trojan horse for Europe-wide databases of drivers or a slippery slope towards a Brussels-run ID card scheme are probably ill-founded. This is a transport measure, emerging from a transport committee.

That said, the European Justice and Home Affairs Committee already boasts of cross-border measures put in place (or proposed) for legal aid, claims, organised crime, fraud and cooperation on policing.

Mike Nattrass, UKIP MEP for the West Midlands and Member of the EU Parliament Transport Committee is less confident. Responding to this vote, he added:

“It is the super-state ruling as the super-state. This sort of thing is happening in every other committee and this is what UKIP is fighting against. UKIP wants to restore legitimacy to Westminster government who are no longer ruling the country.”

And lastly - some might think ironically - the EU will celebrate its second road safety day on 13 October 2008 in Paris. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves
Big Content could get the right to order ISPs to stop traffic
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.