Do British drivers get fines for speeding in France?

Does the UK now share driver details with France if a British-registered car is flashed for speeding in France? Does the owner of a British-registered car have to pay if they receive a French fine at their home in the UK? A.M.

26 June 2019
By Oliver Rowland

An EU directive dating from 2015 was aimed at allowing information-sharing between EU states with regard to several driving offences, including speeding.

The aim was that a state should be able to obtain the name and address of registered drivers of cars from other EU countries and thus send them a fine. It came after statistics showed a high percentage of speeding offences were committed by foreign drivers who were  escaping penalties.

This relates especially to cars flashed by cameras. In  the case of police flashing a speeding car in person, they could already oblige them to stop and issue an on-the-spot fine. In such cases in France, it is possible for the vehicle to be confiscated until the fine has been paid.

According to French and EU sources, the UK is now fully integrated into an EU information-sharing system.

Whether this would continue after a Brexit will depend on future negotiations.

A spokesman for the French Interior Ministry’s road safety section said those who receive such fines must pay them. If they do not pay, they risk having to pay later at an increased rate, he said.

This would apply if they are ever stopped again by police in France and checks are made. The spokesman added that increasingly sophisticated methods are being put in place to chase people up for fines in their home country as well.

This includes the possibility of allowing the home country to collect the fine money, he said.

A European Commission source said the UK had correctly transposed the directive into UK law and was now connected to an electronic information-sharing system.

So far, no complaints have been received from member states that they are unable to access UK information, the source said

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