Driving offenders 'untraceable'

Dozens of motoring offences are going unpunished every day because police cannot trace the drivers of the foreign-registered vehicles involved.

One campaigner has even claimed that some British motorists are registering their vehicles abroad in a deliberate attempt to avoid being caught speeding or parking illegally.

More than 24 speeding foreign-registered vehicles are caught on camera every day in London alone, with figures released by the Metropolitan Police revealing that speed cameras were activated by foreign-registered vehicles on 8,880 occasions in 2007-8.

And because officers are almost powerless to identify those responsible, the "majority" of drivers escape legal action, the force admitted.

Senior officers, who could only find four examples of foreign drivers who have been prosecuted for more serious driving offences, blame a lack of access to foreign databases and the fact that driver summons papers are unenforceable outside Britain.

Metropolitan Police Authority member Jenny Jones called for change in the law to give police better access to vehicle information held across borders.

"We have known for a while that some Londoners are deliberately registering their cars abroad to avoid being detected.

"If drivers know they cannot be traced they will not bother to obey the rules and that has important safety implications for everyone," she said.

Copyright © Press Association 2009