French MEP Karima Delli wants to introduce a new driving license for SUVs — a target of climate campaigners for the pollution they emit and of safety advocates for the danger they pose to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of smaller cars.
The vehicles “are not only taking up more space and are less energy efficient … in terms of road safety, they are more likely to be subject to collisions than light passenger cars, with far more serious consequences,” the Greens lawmaker, who’s leading Parliament’s work on a reform of EU driving license rules, wrote in her draft report.
The B license currently needed to drive cars and vans “is not completely suitable for the heaviest passenger cars,” she argued. Instead, she wants a new B+ license that would apply to cars and vans weighing more than 1.8 tons. Drivers should only be able to obtain it after a two-year probation on a normal B permit, and only from the age of 21, she proposed.
That would force drivers of popular heavy SUVs like the Audi Q7, the Volvo XC90 and the BMW X5 to get updated licenses.
Delli added that there could be exemptions for professional or special purposes, such as emergency vehicles.
Her proposals also includes an EU-wide points-based driving license system which would keep track of traffic offenses and revoke or suspend permits from a certain threshold. Such a system “has the potential to slash the number of accidents and deaths on our roads,” the lawmaker wrote.
There is no EU-wide system to handle penalty points and driving bans, although the Commission’s March road safety package included a proposal for EU-wide driver disqualification for serious offenses.