back to article EU wants data sharing network for driving offences

The EC has kicked off a drive for data sharing amongst member countries' police forces in an effort to track down drivers who commit motoring offences in foreign countries. The EC wants to punish drivers who speed, drink-drive, don't wear a seatbelt, or fail to stop at a red light whether they are in their home country or abroad …

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Unhappy

DVLA

Can't they just buy the info of the DVLA for a couple of quid anyway like all of those shame parking enforcers.

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Go

I'm all for it...

If it gets those bloody polish reg un taxed and uninsured bangers off the road.

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Anonymous Coward

Unify Punishment but not tax/registration/insurance/mot...

Notice that they now unify punishments in the EU but never positives like car tax/registration/insurance/mot etc.

So no country will accept any other countries MOT test or emissions test or whatever, but when it comes to dishing up fines, no problem, cooperation abounds!

I reckon it's because every country wants to punish every other EU countries citizens. a bit of racism. So you wouldn't want to accept the French Controle Technique test in the UK because that would make French people's lives easier. And you don't want Polish plumbers to be able to use their polish cars here on polish plates because....erm, we'll they're foreign and we're racist! Non?

It's sad really, EU use to be about increasing peoples freedoms, breaking down borders, defining rights. Somehow that got stalled and last decade has been about raising penalties, adding restrictions etc.*. They could unify the complete registration process so that any car can be registered in any country, with any test in any MOT center and be legal anywhere in Europe but they don't.

* Biometrics, fortress Europe, cross border reporting of bank interest, can't take more than 10k Euros across the external border without confiscation, raised UK-EU border, new internal flight 'security' measures, the police rumour sharing network, European arrest warrants that let France arrest a Dutch online gambling CEO for a legal online gambling website....etc.

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Stop

How soon will this happen?

I ought to get in my drive through Europe pretty quick it seems...

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foreign drivers on uk roads

Hmmm sounds like yet another side effect of un-controlled immigration.

Also how does sending a fine to a polish guys home address help when he is here continuing to drive.

Instead they should be able to charge and punish them in the country of the offence!

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Silver badge

Ummm...

"There will be no wriggling out using the 'I wasn't driving' defence, as the driver will have to name the person who was driving at the time."

Just like Neil Hamilton and his wife didn't wriggle out at all by saying "To be honest m'lord it was a long drive, we took it in turns, we have no idea who was at the wheel in that town"... Oh, actually they did didn't they.

I love how simplistic the plan sounds sounds, however we've had the ability to "roam" with our car insurance to mainland Europe for many years, but God help you if you actually have to make a claim! I'm sure the EU will need at least another thousand pen pushers to maintain this system too.

That concern aside, anything that can enforce our high driving standards whilst Johnny foreigner is mowing down grannies is a good thing.

Let's start by enforcing Tacho hours on all the trucks shall we, and how about making them pay some kind of road tax, like the Swiss do if you want to use their motorways. We can rape their wallets whilst all the illegals are being nuked by our x-ray machines at the port.

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Bronze badge

Not a good idea

I won't comment on the speed kills argument as I think it's pretty clear that that's an over simplification of a complex problem.

I will say two things:

1. Driving in different countries varies, along with attitudes. In Turin driving through a red light is seen as unimportant and didn't cause any accident while I was there. I've noticed English drivers tend not to be aware of what's going on around them if they think they've got the right of way but do keep the rules and son on....

2. The biggest problem for me is that it's very easy for, let's say, Spanish police, to accuse me of an offence after I've left the country, but very difficult for me to fight it if I'm innocent. So this could turn into a great revenue raising tool, but not good for the motorist.

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Flame

What side of the road are you on?

"The past five years have seen a 47 per cent rise in the number of foreign drivers involved in accidents in Britain, while foreign lorry drivers are three times more likely to be involved in collisions in this country than their British counterparts."

So, what could possibly be the reason of this?

Maybe it's just that curious fact that in Brittain the people tend to use the left side of the road, while in the whole of Europe people tend to use the right side!

The conclusion might be simply that: YOU'RE DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD, MAN !!!

Cheers, :D

Danny

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

It's your numberplate, you're guilty

Just how are they intending to deal with cloned numberplates? We've already had cases of people who have never been to London getting done for the congestion charge. Now you can try fighting the authorities in a country you've never been to.

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Anonymous Coward

EU Insurance

"however we've had the ability to "roam" with our car insurance to mainland Europe for many years,"

Only third party, the game with the UK Insurers is they add the condition that you have to notify them before leaving, they then try to sell you very expensive 3 month green cards to cover your for fire/theft/comprehensive.

In mainland Europe we get pan-European cover (with some that doesn't include theft insurance in Eastern Europe because theft rates are high in some countries). The European insurers don't sell in the UK though.

UK doesn't permit non UK insurers to sell car insurance here, unless they apply to join the information sharing network which requires exposing their non UK customers details to lots of UK agencies without any controls over which information is extracted when. Which of course they refuse to do as it would be bad for business.

EU seems to be following the UK route with free sharing of information without any controls on it. What could possibly go wrong?

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Anonymous Coward

As long as......

The good old US of A stays out of this seeing as *cough* I forgot about a speeding ticket in Louisiana (OK not the best place to have an outstanding debt but I am sure the local Sheriff has finally given up with the blood hounds and yocals on the manhunt), In my defense I was trying to get the groom back to Dallas for his wedding so no matter what the cop said at the time it was an emergency to us. Anyway it was a great wedding, We had a great time and I am sure the hangover we had after the wedding was punishment enough for the speeding.

AC as the DHS is bound to be looking for me now as a potential terrorist and warming a plane for a special rendition flight to BillyBobs gator farm.

Anyone hear a helicopter.............................................

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Anonymous Coward

Wait does that mean the DVLA can sell my details?

Wait a second, I don't drive in the UK, does this mean that DVLA can sell my registration details to anybody pretending to need it?

You little s***ts under no circumstance can you allow an uncontrolled release of private data like that. Private data is protected in Europe, you can't let the DVLA provide that data to anyone but police for law enforcement purposes on reasonable cause.

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Anonymous Coward

<no title>

Ah another step down the slippery slope eh ? Oh but that's "mission creep", so we don't have that in mind, yet.

How about the EU harmonising the rules of the road across all countries first?

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Thumb Down

What's with all the racist comments?

Let's be honest, the British are essentially a lazy nation. We need foreign labour to get the job done, and done right.

You whine when you can't get a plumber and that it costs too much, yet when you get the Poles in to do the job and do it cheaper you complain about immigration. You can't have your cake and eat it to.

Personally Britain is richer for having foreigners, especially those who work.

Suggest you all take a look at the following papers before you spout your racist attitudes to help you better understand what foreigners bring to the table:

http://www.ippr.org/research/teams/project.asp?id=1452&pid=1452

For the record, I am British!

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Silver badge

@Danny

Europe used to be on the left[*] until Napoleon invaded most of it and he decreed that everyone should pass on the right. As we beat him we never got forced to change, so we're still on the correct side.

[*] For a right-handed person, passing on the left meant that your sword arm was between you and any possible enemy. It's notable that Japan also still drives on the left.

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Anonymous Coward

Easy solution

Force the driver to pay fines for moving violations before they're allowed to drive away. Don't start yammering on about crooked cops - if they're bent then you are already fried.

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Silver badge

End of the free ride

I know a lot of people who just do not care about speed limits when they're driving in a foreign country. Why should they? They will not be fined...

It has been obvious to me that the cars breaking speed lmits in Switzerland are French, and those breaking speed limits in France are Swiss (Or German, Italian, etc.) I am not necessarily happy about the governments getting together to fine us more, but you do need limits.

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Anonymous Coward

Foreign driver = More paperwork for the cops...

...unless they give an on the spot fine. I know of several people in Germany who have been let off (once even for drink driving!) essentially because the cops didn't want to do the extra paperwork.

There are also several folk here who drive around for years on their foreign plates despite the requirement to get a local registration. Of course, if they have an accident, their insurance is unlikely to pay up.

What the Germans do is wait until someone has several outstanding traffic offences and then do all the paperwork and get them fined and take their license away.

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Easy Soution?

>>Force the driver to pay fines for moving violations before they're allowed to drive away.

That is exactly what they do in Spain - and you get a 30% discount. The alternative is to have the car impounded while you fight the case. Of course this will not work in the future when the fines are issued and collected by computers and their cameras rather than by men in blue.

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Paris Hilton

The EU can't understand "Mission Creep"!

'but the Commission denied this [wider information-sharing network for the police] would be the case. "I doubt it," a spokesperson said. "That would be mission creep."'

AC: "Ah another step down the slippery slope eh ? Oh but that's "mission creep", so we don't have that in mind, yet."

For a body that started as a Free Trade Area called the EEC, that has already declared itself "competent" in Road Safety (the increasing use of 20mph speed limits in towns is one thing they are pushing EU wide!), and that is now working hard to declare itself "competent" in the field of law, order and justice, it is clear that it has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA about the meaning of "mission creep"! To say that the EEC/EC/EU doesn't do "mission creep" is as valid as saying the Pope is a Protestant or that Paris Hilton is a [I think we'll draw a veil over that one, thank you. Ed]

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Anonymous Coward

Foreign drivers only a small part of the problem

If they really wanted to improve safety, they should do stuff about the people who live in the country. Like, for example making the driving license expire every 5 years and to renew it you have to take an eye test to prove you can still see properly.

Or how about writing on the license "short-sighted driver", so that the license isn't valid unless you've got your contacts in or are wearing glasses?

Currently in the UK you can drive from age 17 to 70 without ever needing any eye exam, and once you reach 70 all you have to do is sign a "yes guv, my eyesight's fine" form to get an extension.

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Re: Wrong side of the road

Do you know why France et al drive on the right? Napoleon.

He was a cavalryman and because at the time EVERYONE passed to the left (so that the fighting right arm was closer to the possible assailant coming the other way), cavalry got down off the horse and into the gutter. Making Napoleon and his troops nice shiny boots all mucky.

So he decreed to pass on the right, so he'd not have to stand in a muddy ditch.

There is no "right" or "wrong" side of the road.

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Gold badge

Which side?

Having lived in CZ until recently, they persisted waaay after Napoleon. Their change was a direct result of WWII. Apparently if a Panzer decides to drive on the right you don't argue the point. When WWII ended, it shortly became apparent that the same logic applies when the thing coming the other way is a JS2.

Napoleon (bless his right-fixated cotton socks) also came up with priorite a droit for junctions, which is still causing messy accidents all over Europe to this day in those countries that persist with it (or it's chimeric bastard offspring, the "yellow diamond" system).

I too reckon that the EU should concentrate on legislating to enforce cross-border portability of registration, roadworthiness tests and insurance (which is going on on the mainland anyhow). It'd be worth it to see the DVLA and Police reaction when they find that their horribly expensive, shite, inaccurate system for screwing cash out of motorists is a horribly expensive, shite, inaccurate white elephant of a system for screwing cash out of motorists.

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Silver badge

@swordarm and all that Medieval stuf

Nice to know, but these days we use guns, missiles and soon we'll have gargoyle bats, so it doesn't really matter which side you're on, the heat-seeker will find your sitting tool if it wants to anyway. ;-)

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no problem

do you want it in CD or DVD format, or shall we just send the entire laptop?

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tax shopping

they will *never* have a unified registration/tax system, since then everyone will register & tax the car in the cheapest country.

making fines etc universal draws money in, not letting it out.

go figure.

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