Road Safety News
 

UK Government urged to support new proposals to ensure foreign speeders pay fines

Friday 18th July 2014

Foreign drivers who commit a speeding offence on UK roads could soon be forced to pay their fines under new proposals from the European Commission.

At present, foreign drivers detected by speed cameras do not receive the £100 penalty issued to UK drivers. The new proposal published today (18 July) allows for exchange of data between all EU countries, in a bid to ensure a fair system of penalties.

It is estimated that the move could save up to 400 lives a year in Europe and help the UK recoup an estimated £3.6m in annual revenue.

Cross Border Enforcement (CBE) allows law enforcement organisations to pursue traffic offences committed by drivers of vehicles registered in an EU Member State different from the one where their offence was detected.

A coalition of road safety groups – including PACTS, BRAKE, RoSPA and TISPOL (the European Traffic Police Network) - is calling for the UK Government to support the new proposal.

David Davies, executive director of PACTS, said: "It is unfair and unsatisfactory that as many as one in five drivers escapes prosecution for speeding in the UK because they or their vehicles are from overseas.

“The decrease in UK road deaths has slowed substantially in the past three years. Additional measures are needed and CBE is one of them."

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: “Cross border enforcement of motoring offences will encourage non-UK drivers to comply with our road laws. This will make our roads, and roads in our European neighbours, safer for everyone.”

Pasi Kemppainen, TISPOL director, added: “TISPOL’s research shows that as many as one in five speeding offences recorded by cameras results in no action being taken, either because of a non-UK registration plate, or a non-resident driver of a UK-registered vehicle.

“Europe-wide adoption of the new proposal will lead to more effective enforcement, which encourages drivers to comply with safety rules and leads to a rapid reduction in deaths and injuries.

“Currently non-residents represent around 5% of road traffic in the EU, whereas the share of non-resident drivers in speeding offences is around 15% on average.  French figures show that in 2013 there were 500,000 recorded speeding and red traffic light offences committed by drivers in UK-registered vehicles.

“The UK has one of the lowest road deaths in Europe. But recent figures show it no longer tops the league table for road safety. There is still scope for reducing the annual toll of deaths further.

“We urge ministers to demonstrate political leadership as a road safety frontrunners and support this EU law that will promote equality across Europe, deter risk-taking and ultimately save lives.”

 

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How often do we see speeding fines returned because of the police/camera partnerships have not followed the law and have been caught out in court. They do not automatically refund or rescind points, drivers are asked to 'apply' for their justice! But how would you find out unless by sheer chance you saw it in the media? So what chance if alleged offence was committed in another EU country?

These 'foreigners' (which of course we are once abroad) will be stuck with fine and points on their licence. Is this what EU membership is all about? If we had harmonised laws and justice systems there might be a case for this.
Terry Hudson, Kent

Agree (6) | Disagree (2)
+4

I wonder if the 5% fleet to 15% offences rate is related to the known number of foreign plated vehicles that have been here for more than 6 months and have a high probability of having (neither here or abroad) no valid registered address, no valid tax, no insurance and no vehicle worthiness check (MOT or equivalent), oh and driven by someone with no valid licence. An ex-police friend stated that getting an East European registered car was a common way for illegal drivers to escape penalties and was better that the old dodge of buying a scrappie from a man in the pub and registering it to “Phil the Greek, 1 The Mall”.
Mark, Caerphilly

Agree (6) | Disagree (1)
+5

If it predicted to save up to 400 lives a year then the lack of it must have cost 400 lives a year up to now. Perhaps the sponsors of this proposal might like to list those fatal accidents that were directly attributable to the difficulty in levying cross-border fines?
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (11) | Disagree (3)
+8