United Kingdom

EU drivers will escape UK speeding fines unless caught 'there and then', chief constable says

Drivers from the EU will escape fines for speeding on British roads unless they are caught "there and then", a chief constable has admitted.

Sir David Thompson, of West Midlands Police, said: "If we do enforce speeding fines, they are going to need to be done by traffic officers on the road – and where a ticket or prosecution takes place – there and then, at the time.

"From now onwards, we are unable to do that [issue a speeding ticket] without actually catching people there and then."

Sir David was answering questions from David Jamieson, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, about post-Brexit policing arrangements following the end of the transition period on January 1.

Mr Jamieson said the new arrangements reminded him of concerns held in the early 2000s, when he was then a transport minister in Tony Blair's Government, about "large numbers of EU drivers" escaping UK speeding fines.

He added: "It does look as though we are moving back into that zone now, where these fines can't be enforced, and I think that's very unfortunate indeed."

The EU cross-border enforcement directive had allowed information-sharing between the UK and the EU, which meant speeding drivers could be contacted when they left the country in which the offence happened.

The directive meant drivers caught speeding in a different member state could be fined up to a year afterwards but is no longer in place after the end of the transition, meaning it is unlikely that speeding drivers from EU states will be fined once they leave the UK.

Likewise, British drivers are unlikely to be given a ticket for speeding in an EU country once they leave it.

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