Fines for foreign drivers caught speeding on UK roads should be double those levied on British drivers, says Independent MEP Janice Atkinson. She is launching a campaign to stop drivers from the EU dodging millions of pounds of fines each year, largely because of a legal loophole.
This exists because general EU law as applied in European member states sees registered car owners rather than car drivers prosecuted for speeding offences. Since the UK penalises individual drivers this means that, without a system of on-the-spot fines such as used in France, speeding drivers from the EU regularly escape prosecution in the UK.
Across the UK, around 23,000 speeding EU drivers evade fines each year, costing the Treasury around £2.3 million in revenues as well as endangering lives on the UK’s road.
By contrast, a UK driver caught speeding in France faces an on the spot fine of up to £750, a several month ban from Frenchs roads and also has their licence taken away and sent to the British authorities with a report of the offence.
As well as calling for a doubling of fines imposed on EU drivers, Janice also wants to see the pre-registration of foreign drivers and cars as well as payment of an upfront fee or bond before entry to UK where Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) will then be able to record every car. She wants this to be accompanied by a change in UK law so that the UK can prosecute overseas drivers rather than registered vehicle owners.
Janice said: “This is a serious road safety issue and the government should act immediately to keep us safe on our own roads and to raise fines from foreign drivers who flout our laws and limits. We do not have to wait for Brexit to implement this simple change.
“By extending the ANPR system already in place such as the Dartford Crossing, we can catch, fine and prosecute dangerous speeding motorists. The fines and registration cost can then be spent on improving our road network.”
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