If you have ever been caught speeding whilst on holiday abroad you’ll know how it usually goes; the police pull you over, you get a ticket on the spot and you are expected to pay it there and then. If you don’t have the cash the police will take you to the nearest cash machine and expect you to withdraw the correct amount. This process did have its advantages because if you didn’t have the cash to withdraw the matter would usually end there.
When caught by a speed camera abroad often the vehicle cannot be traced and the driver escapes the fine. At present, it is hard for countries to track down foreign drivers who break the rules as information isn’t shared.
This is all set to change as of Monday 8th May 2017. From Monday the DVLA is allowing access to its records to enforcing authorities throughout Europe. This means that if, after following the above process, the police fine isn’t paid; they can access your records on the DVLA and send the fine to your home address.
Under the new law, the EU will have access to vehicle ownership details held by other countries and can use their powers to prosecute offences carried out by foreign-registered cars. Each EU country will have a designated ‘national contact point’ in which prosecuting authorities will be able to access a database to trace foreign drivers.
A suspected offender will then receive a letter from the authorities in the country where the offence took place, to warn of the legal consequences if the fine isn’t paid. The level of fines applicable is the same as for drivers of cars registered in the country where the offence is committed.
So when you go on your summer holiday this year don’t take it for granted that if you speed you won’t be caught!