General

Points and fines for traffic offences abroad

Offences abroad will mean points at home under EU plans

BRITISH motorists caught speeding or committing other motoring offences in Europe could face fines and penalty points under new EU laws.

Currently, motorists using their own vehicles abroad only face fines when stopped at the roadside by a police officer.

The new laws expected to be sanctioned by European Parliament this week will give police forces in European countries the power to pursue offenders in courts abroad, for penalties including speeding, running red lights, drink and drug driving, and driving while using a mobile phone.

According to reports, the new rules could come into force in 2017 in Britain and will allow foreign countries to send letters demanding payment to offending British motorists by using registration plate details captured by European speed cameras.

British police will also be able to pursue foreign drivers who commit offences in Britain.

A Department For Transport spokesperson said: ‘It must not be easier for British drivers to be prosecuted abroad than for foreign drivers to be prosecuted in the UK; we have made this clear from the outset of the negotiations.’

Next year, the European Commission will also review the ‘harmonisation of penalty points’, which could see motorists who commit motoring offences abroad receive penalty points on their licence as well as a fine.

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