back to article EU plans cross border database of rogue motorists

Are you one of those safe-as-pie drivers, who tootles merrily along the by-ways of this green and pleasant land, before turning into Mr Demon Boy Racer the moment you cross the Channel? Or do you simply tut grumpily over your breakfast, as you open your Daily Mail and read of yet another Johny Foreigner abusing the hospitality …

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What do points make?

I wonder if these powers will extend to putting points on licences for totting up in the UK for crimes committed abroad? I hope not!

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In some ways better than current agreements but still with issues

Several European countries and for that matter non-EC countries (Switzerland) have bilateral agreements in place already for pursuing traffic violations across borders. The way it works with at least some is that your local transport agency hands over the name and address of the person the vehicle is registered to and leaves it for the agency in the country where the offence was committed to pursue the rogue driver directly. Apparently data privacy rules don't apply here.

At least with this proposed scheme our name and addresses shouldn't be given out willy nilly as the local agency will do the pursuing.

It remains to be seen how they will overcome the differences in the burden of proof that different nations require in order to prosecute - some countries require forward facing cameras in order to capture photos of the driver - others do not. It'll also be interesting to see what appeal/challenge process will be available.

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Great!

Now the Government will be able to lose data about millions of foreigners as well as it's own people...

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sounds useful but...

so did the terror laws until they got abused. What are these MEP's likely to authorise this system to be used for, tracking our every movement? Fining us for stopping mm's too close to a stop sign? for being mm's near a double yellow? for farting while in control of a vehicle?

Maybe i've just had my trust destroyed by our evil overlording bastard control-freak lying toerag politicians but hey

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Boffin

There is another solution...

"'outsiders' getting away with crimes for which locals would be punished"...

If they stopped it being illegal, then no one would complain...

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Anonymous Coward

All motorists are (of course) rogues

> four offences - speeding, drink-driving, non-use of a seatbelt and failing to stop at a red traffic light - which currently account for some for 75 per cent of road deaths.

I think not. But doubtless there is on MEP intent on fining motorists for possessing furry dice or for labelling the windscreen "His Hers".

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You would think...

Driving under the inluence of Drugs, being more attention worthy than not wearing a seatbelt or jumping red lights, Non?

Typical French.

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Coat

"road safety day.......in Paris"

I hear they're planning a computer security day in Lagos as well.

Mine's the one lying on the peripherique with all the tyre marks on it.

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Anonymous Coward

the hidden sacrifices of x-border databases.....

been doing this in Europe for years so it's no surprise that the UK will introduce this, the real shame in the Netherlands of course was the demise of the Dutch Porsche 911 Carrera Police cars (now there's a company car) that were used to catch the German motorists who raced to the border, now of course they can simply radio ahead to their German counterparts...... don't be surprised to if you meet than your family went you exit the Chunnel !!!

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About time I say!

Sick of Northern Ireland drivers zooming around the place south of the border

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It's all very well but

As the guy steering this is Spanish let's take an example:

I'm driving in Spain on me hols. I arrive back in Blighty and some weeks later get a fine through the post. It's completely unjustified as I didn't do what they are accusing me of.

It's going to cost me a fortune to go back to Spain and contest it. So in effect it's an easy way for the Spanish to generate some cash.

Don't forget Spain is just an example, before I get complaints :-)

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Joke

I just wonder

..is it going to work the same as with phone calls abroad? All fines 4 times more expensive.

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Coat

@In some ways better than current agreements but still with issues ???

"It remains to be seen how they will overcome the differences in the burden of proof that different nations require"

Er, no it doesn't. We know it will be sufficient for someone to be accused, or to have a number plate similar to someone who has been accused, or to have been close to someone (either in distance or by relation) who was once thought to have been accused of a small offence, in order to convince our government to:

a. Deport them

b. Make them sign the bad drivers register

c. Make us all have a bad driver check before we can carry passengers (Flat fee £60 - later to be extended to be necessary before leaving home for everyone - think of the children).

Mine's the one with permit.

Sigh!

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Go

Belgium..

... was recently raqted by the Norwegian road authorities the second most dangerous country to drive in the world (after Nigeria).

Well, it seems to have something to do with all these cars comming in from overseas who seem to have a hard time deciding on which side of the road they should drive.

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Anonymous Coward

Hope it stops the eastern Europeans...

around here sharing their cars and driving without licenses and insurance on UK roads!

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Anonymous Coward

Halve road deaths? Good motive.

"...speeding...[etc]...account for some for 75 per cent of road deaths....extending...to cover other traffic infringements such as driving whilst under the influence of drugs, using mobile phones or uninsured....part of a European Commission initiative to halve road deaths..."

So how many road deaths are actually caused by foreigners doing these things? I know "many a mickke maks a muckle" but this is teaspoon-to-ocean stuff, surely?

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@ Matt

No problem - just clone someone else's number plate while you're abroad. Then that person will be the one faced with having to go to Spain to explain himself - and take his witnesses that he was in Blighty with him.

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@John Macintyre

If you're farting, you're not in control of your vehicle and yor're seriously endangering those around you.

Yes, this will be a golden opportunity to lose millions of names and personal information data bits. I wonder if they're taking quotes yet for the work?

Yes, if you are out-of-country it's a golden opportunity for abuse - think of driving out of city or on strange roads in your own country and how it's abused. Remember, most speeding citations are NOT about safety; they're only about money - it's another un-voted tax.

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4 offences...

>speeding, drink-driving, non-use of a seatbelt and failing to stop at a red traffic

>light - which currently account for some for 75 per cent of road deaths.

Oh really? In what way do these specifically cause road deaths then? I think you'll find that all of these need to actually result in a crash of some kind before someone dies... Running a red light or being a drink-driver may make you *more likely* to crash but that's still an influencing factor rather than a direct cause. These offences could all be argued as 'inadvisable' but never *inherently* fatal!

After you have crashed and killed someone (and one of these four offences turns out to have led to the crash) the local manslaughter/murder laws would apply. I remain to be convinced this isn't just revenue-raising tactics.

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Errr...

...How, exactly, would "drink driving" laws be enforced using cameras?

It is clear that they just dropped that one into the list of "offences that are registered automatically using road-side cameras" in order to make it look like they weren't just after the money! (And it probably helps justify the statement that these are "the traffic offences which cause the greatest number of accidents and deaths on the roads.") Clever lot, these eurocrats...

The actual provisions are also a bit of a joke. It works like this: Camera in Member State 1 snaps incriminating photo of vehicle registered in Member State 2. Member State 1 requests information from Member State 2, which is supplied by return. Member State 1 then writes to registered owner/keeper in Member State 2, giving various details about the alleged offence and the amount of the requested fine. Oh, and they are supposed to tell that person how they can appeal. But "how" they can appeal is up to Member State 1... Nothing is specified about minimum standards of due process, or about adding points to driving records to get bad drivers off the roads. European roadside revenue collection at its finest!

--Gianni Foreigner

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Autos Cause 100% of Road Deaths

All the other things mentioned are simply (possibly) contributing factors.

The only way to guarantee road safety is to get rid of the autos.

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Pirate

And they already have the proto-police force

The organisation in question is TISPOL. Their web site is at https://www.tispol.org/ where you will notice that their slogan is (and has been for quite a while): "Crossing Borders to Save Lives". TISPOL seems to be run as a branch of ACPO. UK Officers appear to be in all the positions of control. And like ACPO it's setup keeps it out of the scope of Freedom of Information. So shortly we will have a fully fledged and fully unaccountable EU Traffic Police Farce. Of course they will deny it at present, but you KNOW that the EU has form on lying about the introduction of things like this.

Equally of course we will shortly have a EU wide Gendarmerie, that is EuroGendFor. Alas, although the treaty has been signed and various photo opportunities been given, the body's web site at http://www.eurogendfor.eu/ is playing coy at present and is resolving to http://www.eurogendfor.org which has gone AWOL. So for a bit of information I refer the reader to a pretty reliable blog: http://englandexpects.blogspot.com/2007/10/what-would-eu-do-with-one-of-these.html

With both of these things up and running soon after the full introduction of the EU's Notaconstitution Treaty in 2009, we will then know all about trial in absentia and imprisonment in a foreign country after being picked up on a EU Arrest Warrant.

I believe that the proposals in the article and the cross border policing to which I refer above are the thin end of a very thick wedge that is about to be hammered all the way in.

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I thought 192% of accidents were caused by 'OMG speeding'?

After all, it's remarkably easy to install speed cameras, set the speed limit below the speed that most people would drive at (safely) along a given road, and then blame any accidents on the fact that the driver involved was 'speeding'. Much easier than employing traffic police to qualititively evaluate peoples driving, or actually making roads safer by design.

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Anonymous Coward

Yeh, go for the racist vote. Fuck the EU.

So can I get pan European insurance? Nope, only 3rd party, only limited time.

So can I use a car registered in one country in another? Nope, UK seizes cars it see twice over six months on foreign plates as does Greece. So can we get the MOT unified? Nope. Can I even transfer the registration from one country to another? Nope, if you change residency you can move it within 6 months tax 'free', hah, it costs about 1000 euros a throw, 2500 for Greece (they call it an 'administration' fee). (Change of insurance, plus retest plus new registration costs, plus car sales tax if you're just working there not moving there). Perhaps you've unified the tax on petrol? No.

Nothing positive, nothing beneficial. 8 years of anti people shit from Europe.

So you're going to give a mechanism for each state to get the details of every driver from every other state with no check on the truthfulness of the claim, and it won't be abused unlike every other time it's been abused? Yeh this time it will be different.

Fuck the EU. Really, as a former pro EU citizen, fuck off, we've had nothing but anti-citizen work from the last 8 years, I'm sick of hearing how all Europes problems are caused by the *OTHER* EU citizens. I'm sick of hearing how Britains problems are caused by Germans and Poles, how Germany's problems are the French, fook off.

They have on the spot fines right across Europe and it works well, you have the persons id and passport when you did the breath test. Nobody needs another anti-citizen directive pandering to the racist vote.

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Go

No, don't wake the Clarksonites

Oh you've done it now with that crack about what deaths are caused by. I see the pedants are already out (they're so easy to bait as well: remember the one that fell into the "force is this" trap with the f=m*a line over on another thread? (Note to pedants: don't even think of trying it)).

Oh, and it's about time the Germans over here (NL) got done for ignoring the law. I miss the police Porsches... :-(

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It works in the US so it will work in Europe

Each state in the US has its own traffic laws, licensing regime and so on and its been years since you could ignore an out of state ticket. These things tend to catch up with you when you get stopped by the police or when you try to re-register your vehicle.

You are getting a Federal government whether you like it or not. You have to decide two things -- if you don't want it how to get out now and if you're cool with it how to make its at least slightly responsive to the wishes of the governed. At the moment the EU's Federal government is more like the management of corporation -- nominally democratic but (ha ha ha).

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Time and fair play...

First: Are they going to be able to get an NIP equivalent (anything which requires the driver of the vehicle to incriminate themselves in exchange for a fixed penalty) to the /first/ contact available within 14 days?

Second: Will they be able to issue this within six months?

Third: If they don't issue the notification within six months, does it then become invalid?

And fair play. I'm sick to death of foreign-registered HGVs which ignore UK laws; maybe finally the UK can get these truck drivers into line. Assuming, of course, there's a copper about to stop them.

Of course, I'd find these things less offensive if we'd just remove one bloated layer of Government and either adopt a fully integrated "United States of Europe" model or tell the EU to get lost. One or the other.

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Anonymous Coward

Surely though

As far as we (in the UK) are concerned the only issue is foreign drivers breaking UK laws in the UK. It is up to other countries to police their own roads.

There are a couple of problems here that I think would need to be addressed; foreign drivers committing an offense and long term punishment relating to the offense(s)

The first should be fairly straightforward. For stuff like drink driving you will need to stop the car, at which point you breathalyse the driver and penalise them. OK some stuff about bail and returning to court might need to be ironed out but that should not be too difficult to manage.

For things that show on cameras it is also quite easy: you clock the number plate and you log it to border control*. When the car attempts to leave you impound the driver and implement the appropriate fine / punishment. Job done.

The more complicated issue is on returning bad drivers, such as if a German citizen (say) is caught and punished for drink driving. Under current rules, AFAIK the UK cannot endorse a German license and the German authorities are unlikely to agree to do so for an offense committed abroad. However under UK laws and normalities a drink driver would be banned for at least 12 months.

Currently nothing is stopping the German from returning to the UK 2 weeks later and driving legally. However, dealing with this should be quite straightforward, just log the guy's details when he is caught and publish them to border control, the filth and care rental companies. You back this up with an automatic ASBO preventing them driving in the UK for the duration of what would have been the ban as they are prosecuted. With a mandatory prison sentence if breached.

Not perfect, but as good as if you were dealing with a UK citizen.

*and also the filth just in case we are dealing with a resident foreigner who has "forgotten" to register his foreign car in the UK.

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Heart

@Martin Usher

Stop pretending that individual states in the US mean anything. It is a single country, eos.

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Anonymous Coward

No difference really - they can fine you now.

I got a fine for speeding from Belgian authorities. I was riving a car registered in Germany so it was sent to my German address. As they couldn't give points, they gave the maximum fine instead.

I know of two non-Germans who were allowed to "go home carefully" after failing breath tests. Foreign licenses mean more paperwork and the police here can't be bothered.

The Germans do give points to foreign lcense holders - they log them in their central database in Flensburg, the same as they do for Germans. Of course, these are entirely separate from points issued in other countries.

They also have no problem with driving bans: anyone banned has to report to a police station and handover their license. The police don't care who issued it - they just keep it until the end of the ban.

British companies enforcing fixed penalties for parking have no problem chasing Germans who transgressed in London.

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What's the UKIP comment got to do with the rest of article?

Once again, I don't get the anger against the EU everytime something gets decided in Brussels. Are we able to make a difference between a stupid decision and a reasonable one without assuming it's stupid just because it's "made in Brussels"?

Logically, if it's a cross border problem (and this one is), we need a cross border solution. Then we can comment on the effectiveness of the solution.

If it were a purely UK problem, the smart comment by this UKIP guy would (maybe) make some sense (not too sure, though).

And btw, international calls did get cheaper (whether we think this was an urgent problem to solve, it's another matter).

And, Giovà: "European fines collection"? The infamous EU will not a get a penny (or a eurocent) from the fines. being more British than the Brits ;)

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