New Data Sharing Laws Help To Tackle Speeding In France

by DFRSolicitors1 on February 14, 2017

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Every year 500,000 Brits get away with speeding in France. However, in 2017 data sharing legislation will allow both countries to share information about non-native vehicles to track down road traffic offences.

So after a road trip on the other side of the Channel, you could well land a letter on your doormat with a French stamp on it.

If you drive throughout Europe, you will be familiar with the long and open roads that criss-cross the countryside. It’s easy to lose concentration or simply put your foot down to cover more distance.

However, if you get caught speeding by a fixed camera, it’s likely that you will never receive the fine.

It’s the same situation for many countries throughout Europe, not just France, and the new data sharing law will apply to most European countries.

It’s also the same for European registered drivers here in the UK. This means that the DVLA will be extended the same powers to issue penalties to drivers of non-UK vehicles committing a range of driving offences on UK roads.

The rules at the moment

Unless you are pulled over by a police car, or you are driving a hire car, the UK will not release your information and you cannot be tracked down to be issued with the penalty.

This means that fixed cameras may well catch you speeding or committing motoring offence, but that county’s authorities will not be able to track you down and issue the penalty.

When driving a hire car however, the police in Europe have the authority to issue a charge to the credit card registered with the hire company. So you might not know about a speeding fine until you get back home and notice a charge has been made to your credit card.

Make sure you know the law when driving abroad. “I didn’t know,” is not an exceptional circumstance <link to exceptional circumstances article> that will get you off the charge.

The penalties

The penalties differ from country to country throughout Europe, including a varying degree of on the spot fines and points on your licence.

However, a review is due to be carried out in 2016 which aims to `harmonise` speeding penalties for a more consistent and transparent approach from authorities across all European states.

Other driving offences

Whilst speeding is a high priority for road safety throughout Europe, there are other motoring offences that will be easier to penalise as a result of the new data sharing laws.

This includes other high priority and common offences such as driving under the influence of alcohol, ignoring a red light, and driving whilst using a mobile phone or handheld device.

Unanswered questions

At this stage there are still unanswered questions about how the new laws will look in practice. There is still some confusion as to the role courts will play and the power they have.

What happens if you are issued with a European fine but you don’t pay it? Will the fine be a standardised amount? How will the endorsement points system work, and will they be applicable on your native country’s record?

There is a review due in 2016 which we hope will address some of these issues and make the new data sharing law clearer. Of course if you need any help with motoring law get in touch with a motoring solicitor like

We have a highly dedicated and specialised team of Road Traffic Solicitors, who will guide you through the often complex maze, that is Road Traffic Law.

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