EU must proceed with Cross-Border Enforcement Directive, says ETSC
The new directive is intended to make it easier to pursue and prosecute foreign drivers for breaking the law in another country.
A total of 25 EU states signed the pact last week with the exception of the UK and Ireland.
The UK's Parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport, Mike Penning MP said: 'This directive would have imposed significant costs on the UK without actually allowing us to effectively pursue foreign drivers for offences. It is therefore not in the UK's best interests to opt in at this stage.'
In response, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has said that the UK decision is regrettable, but EU decision-makers must adopt the directive without delay.
Executive director Antonio Avenoso said: 'The situation is less than ideal, but the Council and European Parliament must carefully weigh up the EU-wide road safety benefits of the Directive and adopt this legislation, thus addressing a long-standing problem of enforcing traffic laws on non-residents.'
According to ETSC, the directive will bring significant improvements for road safety in the EU. Across the EU foreign drivers make up only 5% of traffic but 15% of speeding offences.
The organisation added that the decision of the UK to delay its opt-in implies that UK citizens will be exempt from this important new road safety law. Fellow Europeans may also be affected by the failure of the UK citizens to comply with traffic regulations when travelling abroad.