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European parliament approves cross-border traffic penalties law

Date: 11 February 2015   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The European parliament has approved a new law enabling police to enforce penalties on foreign motorists who break traffic rules.

The new rules cover offences including speeding, drink driving, using a mobile phone and ignoring red lights.

According to European Commission figures non-residency drivers account for 15% of speeding offences.

The law will come into effect in every EU country later this year, aside from the UK, Ireland and Denmark where it will come into effect in 2017

The three countries opted out of an earlier version of the legislation but agreed to back the proposal after the European Court of Justice ruled that the legal basis had to be changed.

"Today's vote will help put an end to the injustice of foreign drivers escaping traffic penalties while locals get punished for the same offence," said Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council. "The deterrent effect is important, knowing that you can be caught plays a key role in preventing dangerous driving."