UK to block planned pan-EU speeding enforcement

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Car Rental News - 29/11/2010


The UK government will block changes that would allow for speeding fines across national borders.

The British Government is planning to block plans to introduce EU-wide use of fines for offences committed by drivers. The proposal would allow for British motorists to be fined in other EU countries for a variety of offences, including speeding and using handheld phones while driving.

Under the proposal, drivers from the UK caught breaking highway laws elsewhere in the European Union would be penalised at home. Similarly, drivers from other countries would also fined for offences committed whilst in Britain. At the moment, UK police forces often struggle to track down foreign motorists caught on speed cameras.

Roughly four million Brits are thought to drive abroad each year, about double the number of motorists from abroad who come to the UK. The proposals cover drink-driving, running red lights, speeding and failure to wear seat belts. These account for some 75 per cent of deaths.

Also covered by the EU proposals are driving while under the influence of drugs, talking on a handheld phone while driving, motor cyclists who fail to use helmets, and illegally driving in safety lanes. EU commissioner Siim Kallas is responsible for transport and drafted the proposals.

UK road safety minister Mike Penning said that while he supports greater co-operation between EU states to deal with road safety, the British government thinks a number of key issues in the proposals remain unresolved. Two main areas of contention are the cost of the scheme and the present varying levels of enforcement across the EU.

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