Prepare now for cross-border enforcement, says motoring law specialist
Fleets are being urged to make sure they’re ready for a new law next month that means EU member states have to share information on drivers relating to traffic offences.
On 6 May the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 come into force. They require the DVLA to provide details of the registered keeper of vehicles (including personal details if an individual) alleged to have been involved in certain motoring offences across the EU; including failure to stop, using a mobile phone whilst driving, and speeding.
The offences will be prosecuted and sentenced abroad, according to the laws of that country, and foreign courts will not be able to impose penalty points on the UK licence.
The new legislation will have implications for fleets as it will be the registered keeper of the vehicle, which will include leasing companies, who will be contacted.
Richard Silver, motoring offences solicitor and managing partner of Richard Silver Solicitors, commented: “Fleet companies may need to engage with a range of foreign justice systems as a result of the regulations and should consider how they will manage language and cultural challenges, and the process they will follow for instructing specialist lawyers. As there is likely to be an increase in UK citizens being pursued as a result of alleged driving offences across the EU, businesses would also be sensible to ensure their employment contracts and handbooks adequately deal with the relevant HR issues that could arise.”
A spokesperson for the DfT confirmed that there will be no transfer of penalty points to UK drivers’ licences for offences committed abroad but added that the Government would be able to amend the legislation post-Brexit, adding: “Whilst the UK is still a member of the EU, we are obliged to bring in rules on cross border enforcement. Once we have left the EU, our Parliament will have the power to amend the law.”