Cross-border enforcement rules no longer apply (Image: AFP via Getty Images)
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British drivers may be be able to dodge speeding fines in the EU because of Brexit, it emerged today.
UK motorists caught breaking limits on the Continent may not be prosecuted because a data-sharing deal with the bloc was not carried over when the transition ended on December 31.
The EU's Cross-Border Enforcement Directive no longer applies, ending one set of arrangements under which British authorities shared information about motorists caught on speed European cameras.
It means drivers of British-registered vehicles could avoid punishment for driving offences committed on foreign roads.
More than 444,000 British motorists were fined for offences filmed by roadside cameras in France last year.
A UK Government spokesman said: “Speeding is irresponsible and puts people’s lives at risk and although the UK is no longer required to share the same level of information with the EU on road users, drivers of UK registered vehicles may still be contacted in relation to these offences.”
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It is understood that while the Cross-Border Enforcement Directive has been scrapped, the 1959 Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters will continue to apply to the UK.
That raises the prospect of continental prosecutors still being able to access the details they need to trigger proceedings, but via a different route.
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The 1959 Convention allows the “exchange of information and evidence on criminal and administrative matters”, a source said.
They added: “Mutual Legal Assistance may be chosen as a method in which to seek information about a driver based in the UK to pursue any investigation or prosecution of a road traffic offence committed in another country.”