EU backs crackdown on rogue drivers

The European Parliament has given the go ahead for a new plan which will see drivers prosecuted for serious traffic offences they commit outside their countries.

Under the plans, EU nations will share information including car registration details to catch offenders even if they have returned home after committing a traffic offence abroad.

According to official figures, 15% of all speeding offences on European roads are by foreign drivers even though they constitute just 5% of the total traffic.

Besides speeding, the scheme will also crack down on foreign motorists who drink-drive, fail to wear seatbelts or ignore traffic signals. These four factors are together responsible for three-quarters of all road fatalities in Europe.

EU ministers are yet to approve the initiative but officials hope it will be in place by 2013.

Transport commissioner Siim Kallas said: "We know that a foreign driver is three times more likely to commit an offence than a non-foreign driver.

"These new rules should have a powerful deterrent effect and change behaviour."

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