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Foreign drivers must pay fines

Britons, Irish and Danes escape as France agrees to follow EU law on cross-border offences

FOREIGN drivers can no longer escape having to pay fines for speeding and other motoring offences in France – which could mean a €15million bonus for the state’s coffers.

Senators have backed a move to bring France in line with an EU decree and it now goes for final parliamentary approval before coming into force for the start of summer.

Across France foreign drivers are to blame for one in four speeding offences – and half of all speeding offences in border zones.

The situation gets worse in summer where foreign-registered vehicles are responsible for 50% of offences across the whole country.

That is despite foreign vehicles making up just 4% of the traffic on French roads.

Now, European states have agreed to share information on vehicle registrations to get rid of an anomaly in the community’s open-borders policy.

However, drivers from the UK, Ireland and Denmark will escape the fines as these countries have not signed up to the EU decree.

Now each participating country will set up a central data exchange point to ensure information is exchanged fairly, with drivers facing penalties for seven types of offences such as speeding, drink-driving, ignoring red lights or using a mobile telephone while driving.

As at present, drivers caught and stopped in speed controls will still pay on-the-spot fines – with no exceptions for Britons.

French, Belgian, Swiss and Luxembourg drivers have been forced to pay motoring fines in each country since last July.
Photo: Simon Coste - Fotolia.com

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