Tuesday, June 25

British motorists on the continent face £640 speeding fines from today



Motorists drive by a radar part of an average speed measuring system near Englos, northern France. Hundreds of thousands of British motorists will face fines for speeding in Europe under new rules coming in on Saturday.

For the first time UK drivers who get caught by speed cameras going too fast on roads in countries including France, the Netherlands and Belgium will face fines of up to £640.

However a quirk of the European law will crate a “one way” system in which Europeans caught speeding in the UK cannot be pursued by British police.

It comes just as millions of British families are preparing to set off on summer holidays around Europe.

In just one year an estimated half a million UK motorists will face prosecution for driving offences in France alone.

Under the new rules EU governments can access vehicle ownership records held by other countries, which are then used to prosecute offences carried out in foreign-registered cars.

In at least 14 EU countries, including France, the vehicle owner is ultimately liable for fines, even if they were not driving at the time of the offense.

But conversely in the UK the responsibility lies with drivers rather than registered car owners. This means UK police will not be able to fine drivers from the EU.

Breaking speed limits by more than 31mph can result in fines of up to €750 under the reforms, which came in 2015 across much of the EU.

The rules were introduced in 2015 across much of the EU, although the UK, Ireland and Denmark were given a two-year exemption.

Until May 7th the UK has been exempt from the rules but now they will be enforced.

Estimates show that speeding fines by foreign drivers cost the British Government more than £2 million a year in lost income.

The Department of Transport said: “Whilst the UK is still a member of the EU, we are obliged to bring in rules on cross-border enforcement.

Once we have left the EU, our Parliament will have the power to amend the law.