Most EU member states have now signed cross-border laws which will enable them to pursue prosecution even when a person commits a driving offence abroad. Only three state countries, including the UK, have yet to sign up to the agreement. Currently, only spot fines or roadside fines tend to follow a person back across a border, but the new changes mean that speeding and other driving offence fines are likely to make at roughly the same time as the person that committed them. Penalty points will not be added to licences for offences yet, but this situation may change in the future.
Currently, if a person commits a driving offence while abroad, they often get away without having to pay fines because they simply return home. While some countries may charge roadside fines or spit fines, the majority simply do not chase these fines down.
Under the new laws, this would no longer be the case. A person that is caught speeding in France would receive details of their fines when they return home to Germany, for example. 25 of the 28 European Union member states have signed up to be a part of the new rules, with the UK, Ireland, and Denmark the only countries that have not yet put their names down.
A total of eight offences will be covered under the new rules. Speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, jumping a red light, not wearing a seatbelt, not wearing a helmet when riding a motorbike, driving on the hard shoulder, and using a mobile phone when driving will carry penalties according to the country where the offence took place. Laws and fines can differ greatly from one country to another, and it is important that road users know the relevant laws for the country that they are to visit.
While the UK has yet to sign up to the new framework, it is possible that a signature could be around the corner. This means that UK citizens who drive on roads abroad will be liable to the same penalties as those that reside within the country.