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Bad Driving in Europe ... To Be Punished in UK Courts?

Bad Driving in Europe ... To Be Punished in UK Courts?


UK motorists caught speeding on the Continent could soon be pursued in UK courts, under new European Union legislation expected to be approved by the European Parliament on Wednesday (11th February).

UK motorists currently avoid punishment if caught by foreign speed cameras. However, if the motorist is driving a hire vehicle, they can often be traced through their rental company.

The new measures will also give UK police the power to pursue foreign motorists through the courts in their home country.



Under the new rules, tickets for speeding, drink/ drug driving, driving while using a mobile phone and ignoring a red light will be enforced across the EU.

If approved, the new Bill will apply to EU member states from May 2015.  The UK, however, has been granted two additional years to introduce legislation and for the DVLA to update its computer systems.

Edmund King, the AA president, said: “In theory, tracking down drivers who break the law driving in other countries might sound like a good idea in terms of road safety but in practice it could be a nightmare.

“Different European countries have significantly different motoring laws and indeed penalties. If UK drivers receive a penalty notice for using a ‘restricted lane’ in Spain they may wish to contest it but this would prove impossible in most cases as often photographic evidence is not provided. Returning to Europe for a court case is prohibitive in terms of cost.”

The Department for Transport said: “It’s not right that foreign drivers have gone unpunished for speeding offences in the UK, and we are pleased this is set to change. But it mustn’t be easier for British drivers to be prosecuted abroad than for foreign drivers to be prosecuted in the UK. We have made this clear from the outset of the negotiations.”