EU laws for foreign road offenders

Drivers who commit road offences in other European Union member states could face motoring penalties even after crossing the border into their own country, according to new rules.

The measures, which have been welcomed by the European Commission and have been approved byEU transport ministers, will see cross-border police assist in stopping motorists who drive recklessly in one country, often believing they will not be pursued once they are back in theirs.

Under the new laws, member states can access vehicle registration data of drivers in another member state through an electronic exchange networks.

The measures, which have been approved byEU justice and home affairs legislation, allow the UK three months to choose whether to opt in or out.

According to a Government spokesperson, the plans, which have been approved in principle, will need to go through a committee of MPs before a decision is revealed to Brussels.

EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas has hailed the laws, which will put a stop to "foreign" road offenders making an escape without facing any sanctions.

He said: "I think an awful lot of people take the view that when they are driving a car in a foreign country, somehow the rules of the road no longer apply. Foreign drivers account for 5% of traffic on Europe's roads, but 15% of the speeding offences. Well if you are that speeding driver, I have bad news - it's about to stop."

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