Parking fines made 'cross-border'

New rules have been rolled out which will see motorists from Northern Ireland who pick up parking tickets in the Irish Republic pursued across the border for their fine.

The cross-border agreement - also applying to drivers from the Republic who break the law in Northern Ireland - comes alongside revelations that people parking illegally while over the border have dodged millions in fines.

Figures show that since 2006,people in the Republic parking illegally in Northern Ireland have avoided fines worth £1.7 million, while on the other side of the border Northern Ireland drivers avoided 1.3 million euros of toll road duty in the Republic.

Under the plans, authorities will share vehicle registration information in a bid to make it easier to track down offenders through the courts.

The Republic's Department of Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland already swap information on motor tax and abandoned vehicles.

Northern Ireland regional development minister Conor Murphy said "Parking control is an essential part of traffic management and road safety wherever you live on this island, and this new measure will strengthen enforcement."

Irish transport minister Noel Dempsey said: "This is another important step in road safety and traffic enforcement."

The pilot scheme runs until next November.

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