Traffic police chiefs across Europe support cross-border enforcement
Delegates at TISPOL's annual conference (taking place in Manchester on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 September) will hear an update from Jean Paul Gailly, the Belgian Director General of the Transport Ministry and a representative of the EU Belgian presidency team, explaining how the long-awaited cross border enforcement directive will be brought into existence.
Mr Gailly said: 'Reaching agreement between the Member States is one of the high priorities of the Belgian Presidency of the EU.'
Adam Briggs, deputy chief constable of North Yorkshire Police and the TISPOL lead on speed enforcement, said that cross-border enforcement is supported by police officers across Europe.
'We welcome the Belgian Presidency team's commitment to introduce legislation that will remove the opportunity to drive away from justice. Cross border enforcement of speeding, drink/drug driving and non use of seat belt offences will not only be a vital tool that will contribute to the European Commission's aim of halving road deaths by 2020, but will also make Europe a fairer and more equal place where the same standards of justice apply to all.'
He added: 'Estimates show that at least 400 lives a year could be saved under a system where all drivers have to comply with traffic legislation, regardless of what country they are travelling in.
'The freedom of movement, established by the Rome Treaty in 1957, guarantees that any citizen of the EU, when travelling in another EU member state, benefits from the same rights and has the same duties. The disappearance of most national frontier controls in Europe has made it straightforward for EU citizens to travel where they like, when they like. But with these rights should come responsibilities – not just for UK residents driving in Europe but also for European drivers in the UK.
'On average, foreign drivers account for around 5% of traffic, yet they commit 15% of the speeding offences – and most escape unpunished.'