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Minister Vlačič attends the TTE Council in Brussels today

The Minister of Transport, Dr Patrick Vlačič, and his staff attended a meeting of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council in Brussels today.

In the morning session, transport issues were discussed.

EU transport ministers adopted a conclusion on a political agreement on a proposed directive facilitating cross-border enforcement in the field of road safety, i.e. the exchange of information on traffic offences. The proposal enables the exchange of information on owners or holders of vehicles registered in a different member state than the state in which the offence was committed and detected. The list currently includes eight offences: speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, failing to use seatbelts or wear safety helmets, failing to stop at traffic lights, illegal use of a mobile phone while driving, and illegal use of an emergency lane. According to this proposal, owners of vehicles, with which traffic offences were committed, will be notified of the offence and its consequences by the authorities, and will be able to respond to these notifications. Since this directive represents a first step towards more efficient prosecution of road traffic offences, Slovenia endorsed it.  

In addition, ministers adopted conclusions concerning the road safety policy for the period 2011-2020. These conclusions provide basic guidelines and objectives for vehicle safety, infrastructure, education and training, as well as the use of intelligent transport systems.  Special attention is paid to vulnerable road users. Within the umbrella project “Vision Zero”, the ministers supported the new goal of reducing the number of casualties by 50% compared to 2010. 

A progress report on the proposal for a directive establishing a single European railway area (the first recast of the railway package) was presented at the meeting. Transport ministers also talked about better planning of railway infrastructure financing, charging for the external costs of noise, and promotion of the installation of the European Train Control System (ETCS). Slovenia is, in principle, in favour of investment planning and inclusion of external costs based on noise performance into charges but has a number of questions regarding modalities in charging. In future discussions under Hungary's EU Council Presidency, Slovenia will support a mix of different instruments in order to stimulate the sector to invest in silent breaking systems and will carefully examine the Commission's proposal for a reduction of track access charges for trains equipped with ETCS.