Friday, 2 October 2009

The latest enforcement farce

It’s the consequence of Britain having some of the lowest fines in Europe for motoring offences, and the collapse of the pound against the euro:

A new Europe-wide treaty, which comes into force on Thursday, means for the first time that countries can pursue motorists for fines for speeding offences abroad. But the slump in sterling means that overseas drivers caught speeding in Britain will fall below the 70 euro threshold set by the treaty.

Only fines above this amount will be pursued under the treaty, agreed in 2005, which is intended to make it easier for action to be taken for minor motoring and public order offences. But the 70 euro threshold means the provisions of the treaty cannot be enforced. At current exchange rates, this means the fine is about £64 – £4 more than the standard speeding fine. This means overseas drivers are unlikely to face any action.

In some parts of the country, it is estimated that up to 40 per cent of speeding tickets are being issued to foreign motorists.