EU set to enforce cross-border traffic laws

BRUSSELS – The European Parliament is expected to vote on a new law on Wednesday enforcing drivers who commit traffic offences in an EU-member country to be fined in their home state.

The law, which would be enforceable in most EU member states from May, covers traffic offences including drink-driving, speeding, using a mobile at the wheel and ignoring red lights or one-way signs.

European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said in a statement on Wednesday: "Today's vote marks an important step towards a more effective enforcement of traffic rules across the EU, preventing European citizens from becoming victims of reckless drivers who do not respect traffic rules.

''Cross-border enforcement of traffic rules could save up to 400 lives a year.''

- Road fatalities

Non-resident drivers account for about five percent of road traffic offences in the EU, according to the European Commission.

The new law would allow EU member states to exchange information to identify EU drivers who commit traffic offences abroad.

Prosecuting authorities in each EU member country will be able to access a database to track foreign drivers.

The major causes behind 75 percent of road fatalities are speeding, running traffic lights, failure to use seatbelts and drink driving, according to the European Commission.

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