What Happens Abroad, Stays abroad?
The concept of 'what happens abroad; stays abroad' may soon be changing for British Motorists. The European Parliament will be voting next month on new measures that would mean that police forces throughout the EU would be able to pursue offenders in courts abroad. This could lead to motorists being stripped of their licences for offences not committed in their own country.
At present, if you are caught speeding by speed cameras abroad in your own vehicle, punishment is not implemented. Fines are only imposed if stopped by a police officer, however penalty points and/or disqualification is not implemented.
The European Commission will also be discussing the "harmonisation of penalty points" in the upcoming year; in which if an offence is committed abroad it could mean the offender will receive penalty points on their licence, possibly resulting in disqualification.
When asked about transferring penalty points, the roads minister Robert Goodwill called the proposed measures "inappropriate" and not something Britain would wish to partake in.
If the new EU laws were put in place they would be enforced in 2017 in Britain, in which foreign countries would be able to access a database to find out a car's owner and home address. After this check letters will be send demanding payment for offences overseas, resulting in court action if payment is not made. This would effectively work both ways, in the sense that if a foreign motorist committed an offence in Britain, action could be taken in their country, also.
Goodwill states that "The government will oppose any such proposal" and that "people's private data must be protected". However, the idea in essence is in our eyes a great one, surely bad driving or riding should be regarded as an issue regardless of geographical location. If you are, for instance, drink driving abroad it should surely carry the same weight as if on your home soil.
Although, data protection is a key factor. Would Britain be willing to volunteer such information?
25.01.2015 - Big Ed