Penalties introduced for overseas traffic offences

New legislation will mean drivers across the European Union will face penalties for breaking traffic laws when driving outside their home country. The developments will come into force by 7 November, the deadline date for EU Member states to implement the EU Directive facilitating cross border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences.

There are eight offences included in the text of the Directive, which are: speeding; not using a seatbelt; failing to stop at a red traffic light or other mandatory stop signal; drink driving, driving under the influence of drugs; not wearing a helmet (for motorcyclists); using a forbidden lane (such as the forbidden use of an emergency lane, a lane reserved for public transport, or a lane closed down for road works) and
illegally using a mobile phone, or any other communications device, while driving.

TISPOL President, Koen Ricour, said, ‘We want motorists to comply with the rules of the road, wherever in Europe they may be driving. Those who do will have nothing to fear from the new legislation. Those who choose to flout the laws when away from their home country can now be dealt with, and will no longer be able to drive away from justice. We support the Directive as it provides police officers with an effective and much-needed tool. It also improves co-operation between police forces across the EU.’

A guide to driving in each European country is available on TISPOL’s website ( 

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