Tuesday 30 September 2008

Drivers of cars registered abroad dodge traffic fines in London

Thousands are driving in bus lanes, speeding or dodging congestion and low emission zone charges with impunity because they are registered overseas and prove impossible to trace. The boom on offenders is not simply caused by overseas motorists visiting London on holiday or even foreign truck drivers 'forgetting' to pay charges. It is fuelled by drivers deliberately registering their cars abroad in a bid to escape justice. Jenny Jones, of the London Assembly Green Party, said: "It is a scandal that so many drivers are getting away with it; it is costing London a lot of money. We have known for some time that people are deliberately registering their cars abroad to avoid being detected and unfortunately that's continuing. It is bad for safety and - if we could get rid of them - it would help clear the roads. We would like to see the Met and Transport for London to be more vigilant on this issue.”

The figures, from the mayor's office, show that since 2004 a total of 379,862 overseas-registered drivers have been filmed on CCTV committing motoring offences in London. But only 36,226 of them have been brought to book and made to pay their fines.