Instant fines for foreign drivers
Until now, police could arrest foreign drivers for only serious offences, such as drink-driving, which allowed many to escape paying fines after they left the country.
Foreign drivers can now face £60 fixed penalty fines for offences such as using a mobile phone while driving or speeding. The driver's vehicle can also be immobilised until payment is made.
Around three million foreign-registered vehicles come to the UK each year and around one accident in 50 involves a foreign vehicle.
Police can now issue fixed penalty fines for speeding, driving longer hours than permitted, or having a dangerous vehicle.
More serious offences, such as tailgating, will attract an immediate fine of £300. Foreign drivers who commit more than one offence could be forced to pay up to £900.
The new penalty notices are aimed at cutting the number of drivers who escape paying fines because their foreign-registered vehicles cannot be traced.
In January, the Metropolitan Police revealed that its speed cameras were activated at least once every hour by foreign-registered vehicles in 2007-8.
Featured in this story