Still no France-UK deal to share details of speeding drivers

France has data-sharing arrangements with most European countries but swaps with UK ended with Brexit

Fines not sent for speeding or going through a red light when driving a French-registered car in UK or UK-registered car in France
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Thirty-one months on from full Brexit, there is still no replacement agreement between the UK and France for sharing details of driving offenders.

This means that, for now, UK-registered drivers visiting France will not receive fines for offences such as speeding or going through a red light – unless they are given an on-the-spot fine by a police officer.

The same applies to visitors to the UK with French plates, although we understand that was also the case pre-Brexit, as UK officials said that they sent fines out only if they had confirmation from the car’s registered owner that they were driving at the time.

They said UK law enabled them to prosecute registered owners who failed to provide the driver details, but this was unenforceable in France.

This is not the case in France, where the registered driver must pay the fine unless they successfully contest it by stating that they were not driving at the time and giving details of who they had lent or rented it to.

Read more: How do speeding fines work in France?

Controversy over low-emission zone charges

In the EU, sharing of driver details from national databases through a system called Eucaris is based on a 2015 EU directive, which no longer applies to the UK. However, bilateral agreements also have to be signed to activate the procedures.

The arrangements are meant to relate to ordinary road traffic offences, not to the enforcement of low-emission zone charges.

There is controversy over how a British debt-collection agency appears to have accessed the EU database for such purposes, despite the UK not being in the scheme any more.

Read more: Debt collector of UK fines ‘illicitly’ got data of drivers in France

No data-sharing deal yet with UK

In 2019, the first year of exchanges with the UK, France sent 444,378 fines to the UK, with British drivers being flashed more than any other nationality.

In 2020, when Spanish and Belgian people overtook Britons, this was halved to 210,474, but information exchange stopped on December 31.

It was thought the UK and France would negotiate a bilateral deal, but this has not happened yet.

France has EU sharing agreements with Belgium, Spain, Ger­many, the Netherlands, Po­land, Roma­nia, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithu­ania, Ireland, Sweden, Den­mark and Portugal, plus deals with Switzerland and Monaco.

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