Germans won’t have to pay speeding fines abroad—at least for now

22nd January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Germany’s government plans to delay action on the issue until after the election.

Prague -- Germany has no plans to force drivers caught speeding in other countries to pay their fines and will leave it up to the next government to enforce the rules.

"For the moment, speeding fines abroad will not be followed up,” Germany’s Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries said last week. “It will be up to the next government to address the issue," she told reporters in Prague, on the sidelines of a meeting of EU justice ministers.

Germans vote in general elections on September 27.

Cooperation between the 27 EU member countries on enforcing speeding fines abroad has been undermined by costs and the time it takes to follow up on any traffic infringement.

"It doesn't work anywhere in Europe," one EU diplomat said on condition of anonymity. "Plenty of people drive fast abroad because they know there won't be any consequences."

Members of the European Parliament have complained about the problem, which also extends to driving without a seat belt, drink driving and running red traffic lights.

The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, said that these categories of infringement were main contributing factors to the European road death toll, which numbered 43,000 in 2007.

In 2001, the European Union set a target of halving the number of deaths on European roads within a decade. There were 54,000 road deaths that year.


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