Labour MEPs this week voted for new EU procedures that will make it easier to bring non-UK drivers who break the law to justice and are calling on the UK government to bring the new rules into force as soon as possible.
Labour MEPs voted for a directive to set up procedures for the exchange of information on eight road traffic offences including those linked to the main road risk factors: speeding; failing to use a seat-belt; using a mobile phone while driving; and drink-driving. The European Transport Safety Council estimates more than 26,000 citizens lost their lives on Europe’s roads last year.
These new procedures will allow EU countries to exchange information to ensure people who commit serious traffic offences whilst driving a foreign-registered vehicle can be identified and can be traced when they return home.
However, the South West’s UKIP MEPs voted against the measures.
Clare Moody, Labour MEP for the South West and Gibraltar said:
Around 15 per cent of detected speed offences are committed by non-resident drivers, and these EU rules will give UK authorities the tools they need to identify offenders, even if they are not based in Britain.
Across the South West, in Devon and Cornwall there were 692 offences committed by overseas drivers, while in Gloucestershire the number of offences was 92, according to figures released by the Institute of Advanced Motorists following a freedom of information request to police authorities in England and Wales. There was no information available from the Avon and Somerset and Wiltshire constabularies, whilst Dorset did not reply to requests.
Whilst I understand the UK needs appropriate time to transpose these EU rules into national law, any unnecessary delay is unacceptable and will undermine the UK's ongoing efforts to reduce road deaths.
Labour's MEPs voted for these strong measures that will bring dangerous drivers to book, while UKIP voted to allow these criminals to remain at large. Once again, they have allowed their warped anti-European ideology to deny victims justice.