|UK urged to take part in clampdown on foreign rogue drivers|
UK not taking part in cross-border driving fines
MEPs have approved a new EU law which will mean that foreign car and lorry drivers caught speeding, drink-driving, jumping red lights or failing to wear seat belts in another EU country will be punished even if they skip back to their home country. The final version has to be negotiated with EU governments.
A new system of increased cross-border cooperation between European police forces and licensing authorities will mean that if the driver fails to pay a fine, identifying details will be exchanged with the country of residence so that the fine can be collected.
The UK has chosen to opt out of this measure for the moment, although it still has the option of joining in at a later date.
Hounslow Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford said:
“More and more people are driving around the EU whether on holiday or on business, and cross-border cooperation can make our roads safer. If foreign drivers get off scot free, they will be tempted to drive dangerously and put lives at risk.”
"If local drivers see foreigners getting away with it, they will be even less inclined to accept their own punishment. It fosters the unfortunate notion that there are 2 different sets of rules."
"I regret the UK’s decision not to take part and hope it will be reversed. Indeed I hope that if the new system proves its worth, it can be extended to fines for parking infringements, driving in bus lanes and failure to pay the congestion charge. That will be help London's finances as well as improving enforcement."
July 6, 2011