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.
It used to be that when you were caught by a speed camera abroad often the vehicle could not be traced and the driver escaped the fine. It was hard for countries to track down foreign drivers who broke the rules as information wasn’t shared.
This all changed as of Monday 8th May 2017. The DVLA now allows 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 has 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 has a designated ‘national contact point’ in which prosecuting authorities are 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!