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Pursuit for drivers who break law abroad

  • EU to pursue drivers who break law abroad
  • Driver-data share planned to cut road deaths
  • Foreign drivers 30% more likely to crash
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Soon there could be no escape for drivers who break the law when driving abroad.

The European Union (EU) wants to create a Europe-wide electronic data-sharing system of drivers' details, so that if a driver commits a motoring offence, the incident won't go unpunished.

The proposal is part of the EU's mission to halve road deaths recorded in 2001 by 2010.

At the moment, drivers caught speeding, drink-driving or going through red lights abroad often go unpunished because the police cannot trace the numberplate.

It's thought that one in 20 offences in the EU goes unpunished because they are committed by drivers who are not resident in the country where the transgression occurs.

The proposals would mean that foreign police forces would be obliged to trace offending drivers and pursue a fine, and would make it easier for the British police to trace foreign offenders.

Roughly three million cars enter the UK each year, and they cause about 65 fatal accidents annually. Foreign drivers are 30% more likely to be involved in a crash than those registered in Britain.

Foreign drivers moving to Britain are obliged to submit their car's details to the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) within six months of arrival, but many do not bother, making them hard to trace.

Plans could pose problems
The plans have been broadly backed by the British Government, but ministers think that the plans could be difficult to implement.

They say there would be 'significant practical difficulties' in making the system work, and they could place an 'undue burden' on police.

For drivers who feel they have been wrongly prosecuted, challenging the fine could cost more than the original penalty, too.