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.”