No hiding place

From the 7 November EU Member States will exchange information on drivers who commit traffic offences abroad, including the four “big killers” that cause 75% of road fatalities – speeding, running traffic lights, failure to use seatbelts and drink driving. This information exchange will ensure that foreign offenders can be pursued and punished across borders. It further improves the consistent enforcement of road safety rules throughout the EU by ensuring equal treatment of offenders.

EU figures suggest that foreign drivers account for 5% of traffic but around 15% of speeding offences. Most have gone unpunished so far, with countries unable to pursue drivers when they return home.

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport said: “We are making sure that people can no longer think that when they go abroad, traffic rules do not apply to them. I am certain that the new rules will have a powerful deterrent effect and change the behaviour of many motorists who will no longer be able to drive away from justice.”

Estimates indicate that nearly 500 lives could be saved every year under a system where all drivers have to comply with traffic legislation, regardless of what country they are travelling in. The European Commission will be monitoring closely how the system is implemented and how effective it is regarding the identification and punishment of offenders.

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