When can your driving license be suspended in Romania – main rules explained

In 2024, Romania continues to enforce stringent measures to ensure road safety and compliance with the Road Traffic Code. This guide delves into the various scenarios under which a driver's license can be suspended.
driving license suspension rules in Romania

Our guide provides a clearer understanding of the legal implications of traffic violations. By dissecting the provisions of the Road Traffic Code, we aim to offer practical insights into how drivers can avoid the pitfalls of license suspension.

Introduction to cases when a driving license can be suspended

License suspension serves as a disciplinary measure for drivers who breach the Romanian Road Traffic Code’s regulations. Driving license suspension in Romania, as in many countries, is a critical component of road safety enforcement. It’s not just a punitive measure but a preventative one, aimed at both penalizing drivers for violations and deterring potential misconduct.

Understanding why and under what circumstances licenses are suspended can help drivers appreciate the importance of adhering to road safety laws.

The Romanian authorities have established a legal framework that outlines specific thresholds of violations. Once these thresholds are exceeded, the act is deemed an offense, warranting a suspension of the driving license. The duration of the suspension varies, ranging from 30 to 180 days, depending on the severity of the violation.

Situations leading to license suspension

The Romanian Road Traffic Code categorizes traffic violations into several levels, each associated with different suspension periods:

30-Day Suspension

This initial level of suspension is applied for various misconducts, such as overtaking in no-overtake zones, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, disobeying traffic signals, and ignoring the commands of traffic officers.

More precisely, the situations when your driving license can be suspended for 30 days are:

  • overtaking other vehicles while waiting at the red traffic light;
  • failing to give way to pedestrians who are on the driver’s direction of travel and are crossing through specially arranged and signaled places;
  • failing to give way to vehicles that have this right;
  • not following the road traffic officer’s orders.

60-Day Suspension

More serious misconduct, including causing material damage through traffic violations like running red lights, illegal overtaking, or not adhering to temporary traffic bans, lead to this mid-level suspension.

More exactly, the cases when police can have your driving license suspended are:

  • failing to give priority, improper overtaking, or running a red light, if this results in a traffic accident with material damages;
  • not respecting the temporary traffic ban on a public road;
  • improper overtaking;
  • not respecting the traffic rules related to official convoys or merging into such a convoy;
  • driving in the opposite direction, except for the proper execution of overtaking.

90-Day Suspension

Driving under the influence of alcohol (below the criminal level) or operating a vehicle with faulty brakes or steering mechanisms can trigger this suspension period.

More precisely, those acts that can lead to your driving license to be suspended for 90 days are:

  • driving under the influence of alcohol, if the act does not constitute a crime;
  • driving a vehicle with problems in the braking system or steering mechanism.

120-Day Suspension

Severe infractions, such as making illegal U-turns on highways, ignoring railway crossing protocols, or exceeding the speed limit by more than 70 km/h, can bring you the longest driving license suspension period in Romania, before reaching criminal offense status.

Those situations are the following:

  • turning on the highway or driving in the opposite direction;
  • not following the rules at railway crossings;
  • exceeding the legal speed limit by more than 70 km/h.

Moreover, the accumulation of 15 penalty points for various infractions within a six-month period automatically results in a 30-day suspension. Subsequent accumulations of additional 15 points within 12 months of a previous suspension extend the suspension period to 60 days.

Notably, in cases of traffic offenses classified as crimes against public road safety, or accidents resulting in death or bodily injury due to a violation of traffic rules, the law mandates a 180-day suspension. This applies especially when the court or prosecutor decides to close the case without imposing further legal obligations.

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Penalty points system explained

The penalty points system plays a crucial role in monitoring and penalizing traffic violations in Romania. The system is designed to systematically penalize traffic violations and encourage responsible driving behavior.

This system not only tracks the infractions of individual drivers but also serves as a basis for imposing sanctions, including the suspension of driving licenses. Understanding the nuances of this system is essential for every driver, as it directly impacts one’s ability to legally operate a vehicle on the road.

How the penalty points system works

Under the penalty points system, each traffic violation is assigned a certain number of points, depending on its severity. These points are then added to the driver’s record upon the conviction of the violation.

The system is structured to reflect the seriousness of offenses; for example, minor infractions might incur fewer points, while more severe violations, such as reckless driving or driving under the influence, could result in a significant number of points being added to the driver’s record at once.

Accumulation and consequences

The magic number in this system is 15. This is the maximum number of penalty points a driver can accumulate before facing a mandatory 30-day suspension of their driving license. This threshold is designed to serve as a wake-up call for drivers, signaling that their driving habits pose a significant risk to road safety and require immediate correction.

Once a driver reaches or exceeds 15 points, the suspension is automatic, emphasizing the system’s role in preemptive safety measures. It’s a clear message: accumulate too many points, and you temporarily lose your right to drive.

Resetting penalty points

The penalty points system also incorporates a mechanism for redemption and encourages improvement in driving habits. If a driver manages to avoid any further violations for six months and pays off any outstanding fines, their penalty points are reset to zero. This reset offers drivers a clean slate, acknowledging their improved behavior and compliance with traffic laws.

This reset mechanism is crucial for two reasons. First, it provides a tangible incentive for drivers to adhere to traffic laws and improve their driving habits after a suspension. Second, it acknowledges that people can change, allowing drivers who have made mistakes to rectify their behavior and regain their full driving privileges.

Understanding the nuances of the Romanian basic driving rules and the implications of traffic violations is crucial for every driver. The structured approach to penalizing misdemeanors through license suspension underscores the importance Romania places on road safety.

By adhering to traffic regulations and staying informed about the legal consequences of violations, drivers can contribute to a safer driving environment and avoid the setbacks of license suspension. This guide serves as a reminder of the responsibilities every driver bears on the road, encouraging adherence to laws designed to protect us all.

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