Number Of British Drivers Pursued For Foreign Offences Is 'Surging'

Number Of British Drivers Pursued For Foreign Offences Is ‘Surging’

Number Of British Drivers Pursued For Foreign Offences Is 'Surging'

An increasing number of British drivers are being investigated for driving offences in Europe, according to new data.

Rising Numbers

The offences range from speeding to drink-driving. Data secured by Thomson Reuters reveals that there were 1,903 requests for driver details in 2017; a 17% increase over the previous year. For perspective, there were only 138 such instances in 2014. Such requests are usually made during an investigation into motoring-related offences. In the past, British drivers could only be held accountable if they were caught at the roadside by police. Now, however, a new system allows prosecutors to request assistance concerning criminal inquires. This can involve the exchange of driver details kept by the DVLA. As a consequence, British drivers can be pursued for the likes of skipping red lights and using a phone at the wheel.

No Escape 

Kevin McCormac, editor of Wilkinson’s Road Traffic Offences, has warned that British drivers are being caught out whilst driving abroad. He said, “the use of cross-border information requests has upended the legal risks of speeding abroad – foreign prosecutors can and will hunt you down.” He added, “British drivers can expect no let-up as more and more foreign prosecutors make use of the legal frameworks at their disposal.” McCormac acknowledged that driving on the Continent can be challenging, as Brits are unlikely to be familiar with local driving regulations.

Be Prepared

Driving in Europe can be a daunting prospect for British drivers, regardless of their experience. For a start, all Continental European countries drive on the right side of the road. There are also major discrepancies in terms of speed limits, alcohol tolerances and road infrastructure. Some countries, like France, also require drivers to carry certain items in their cars; such as high-visibility vests and alcohol testing kits.

When driving abroad, make sure to research local driving restrictions and prepare yourself accordingly. If you’ve driven throughout Europe before, care-free about any potential driving offences, be aware that those days are long since gone. It’s also unlikely that our departure from the European Union with threaten the new status-quo; given the Government’s statements of aligning a significant amount British legislation with our European neighbours.

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