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Traffic police call for cross-border enforcement

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Senior police officers from across Europe are calling for the swift adoption of legislation that will ensure drivers can no longer go unpunished for the offences they commit in other countries.

Delegates at TISPOL's annual conference will hear an update from Jean Paul Gailly, the Belgian director general of the Transport Ministry and a representative of the EU Belgian presidency team, explaining how the long-awaited cross border enforcement directive will be brought into existence. Mr Gailly stresses: "Reaching agreement between the Member States is one of the high priorities of the Belgian Presidency of the EU".

Adam Briggs, deputy chief constable of North Yorkshire Police and the TISPOL lead on speed enforcement, says cross border enforcement is supported by police officers across Europe.

"Estimates show that at least 400 lives a year could be saved under a system where all drivers have to comply with traffic legislation, regardless of what country they are travelling in," he says.

"The freedom of movement, established by the Rome Treaty in 1957, guarantees that any citizen of the EU, when travelling in another EU member state, benefits from the same rights and has the same duties. The disappearance of most national frontier controls in Europe has made it straightforward for EU citizens to travel where they like, when they like. But with these rights should come responsibilities - not just for UK residents driving in Europe but also for European drivers in the UK.

"On average, foreign drivers account for around 5% of traffic, yet they commit 15% of the speeding offences - and most escape unpunished.

"We welcome the Belgian Presidency team's commitment to introduce legislation that will remove the opportunity to drive away from justice. Cross border enforcement of speeding, drink/drug driving and non use of seat belt offences will not only be a vital tool that will contribute to the European Commission's aim of halving road deaths by 2020, but will also make Europe a fairer and more equal place where the same standards of justice apply to all."

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  • Edward Handley - 01/10/2010 18:41

    The only surpring thing is that cross border enforcement has not happened already. Many roads within the EC now take you across national borders with even less fuss than crossing a county boundary in this country. It may seem less relevant to the UK as we are an island, but if it means that UK safety standards, especially in respect of driver's hours rules etc. can be enforced on foreign trucks and foreign drivers, then this is definitely a measure we should all support.

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