Transport ministers from across the European Union are due to meet on Thursday to discuss proposals to open up databases containing motorist’s details to all member states. The information would be used by police forces to impose fines committed by foreign drivers in their territories. The UK government is not convinced.
Road safety minister, Mike Penning, said he agreed that more cooperation on the issue of road safety would be a good thing, but that more work needs to be undertaken on a number of issues. He explained that one of the key points was cost and where the various legal boundaries would lie.
Currently the EU proposals deal with four offences: failing to wear a seatbelt, ignoring traffic lights, speeding and drink driving. British motorist’s caught committing an offence while driving on the continent would face being fined when they returned home. The same rules would apply to foreign motorists in the UK.
However, police forces such as the Met have historically had difficulties in chasing fines from motorists driving in the UK with foreign number plates who have been caught by speed traps. Other offences to be discussed include motorcycle riders failing to wear a helmet, the use of handheld phones and driving on illegal drugs.
AA spokesman, Paul Watters, said he had some concerns about the proposals pointing out that there were different rules for speeding motorists on the continent. He said he was not sure that the DVLA would welcome even more bureaucracy and echoed Mr Penning by asking who was going to pay for it all.
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