Here’s Why You Can’t Dodge Foreign Traffic Police

Mon 10th Jun 2019

Driving abroad this summer? You might think you are immune to the driving laws, but even once you are back in Britain, the traffic cops can still track you down.

The news comes after new figures published show that there has been a 20 per cent rise in the cases of British drivers being chased for incidents such as speeding and drink-driving whilst on holiday. The analysis from Wilkinson’s Road Traffic Offences shows that in 2016 there were 1,625 investigations, up from 1,272 in 2015 and just 138 in 2014.

The rise in incidents is due to the UK being member of the Mutual Legal Assistant agreement for the past two years, a deal which means that EU police can request your details from the DVLA for a number of driving offences.

The agreement could also see some European countries take up to 12 months to actually notify you of an offence. Whilst authorities in Britain issue a notice within 14 days of an offence, countries such as Italy can take up to a year to send details.

Kevin McCormac, editor of Wilkinson's Road Traffic Offences, said: "The use of cross-border information requests has upended the legal risks of speeding abroad - foreign prosecutors can and will hunt you down.

"British drivers can expect no letup as more and more foreign prosecutors make use of the legal frameworks at their disposal.

"It can be tough for British drivers abroad as they are unlikely to know the finer details of local road traffic laws in other countries and, as a result, it can be very easy to be caught out."