Motorists from Britain who are caught speeding or committing other serious motoring offences in Europe will be facing fines and even the possibility of losing their driving licence according to new EU laws.
Presently, motorists who are driving their own vehicles when abroad easily avoid punishments such as fines if they are caught by speed cameras while abroad, and only run the risk of incurring a fine if stopped by a police officer. The European Parliament is expected to vote in favour of these measures, which will give police forces the power to issue fines across Europe and to pursue offenders in courts abroad.
Other offences that could land motorist in hot water whilst driving aboard include for speeding, ignoring red lights, drink and drug driving and driving while using a mobile phone.
Harmonisation of Nations!
Next year there will be a review into whether a “harmonisation of penalty points” should be introduced, under which motorists who commit motoring offences abroad will get points on their licence.
Roads minister Robert Goodwill said any plans for transferring penalty points are “inappropriate” and would be strongly opposed by Britain.
When the new rules for traffic fines come into force in 2017, authorities in foreign countries will be able to use a car’s registration plates to find out who the owner is, and where they live. This will then enable them to send letters demanding payment and threatening court action if payment is refused. British police will also be able to use the legislation to pursue motorists from foreign countries who commit motoring offences in Britain.
The Bill will apply to the rest of Europe from May, but Britain has been given two extra years so that the DVLA can update its systems.