The Liberal Democrats in South Central Region have welcomed an EU directive to enforce traffic offences made by foreign drivers.
At their conference on Saturday, they supported a motion to this effect by Catherine Bearder, no. 2 on the Liberal Democrat list for the next European election. The motion asked for the directive to be adopted into UK law as soon as possible.
Catherine pointed out that there are over 3 million foreign registered vehicles in the UK every year and that the south east sees 29% of all their activity. However, non criminal traffic offences against foreign vehicles cannot be enforced. "Without European legislation that treats all EU citizens equally, foreign drivers will be able to ignore traffic laws with impunity, whilst UK drivers are penalised," said Catherine. "That is why I welcome the Cross Border Enforcement of Sanctions which creates a framework in which civil offences, such as traffic misdemeanours, can be pursued across the borders of the EU."
However, Catherine warned that recently the Labour Government had started to backtrack on supporting the EU Directive, leaving local authorities still unable to take action against those foreign drivers who park illegally, commit traffic offences and drive badly maintained and overloaded vehicles for longer hours than their UK counterparts. Catherine said, "We need to keep pushing for the speedy implementation of this important legislation. This is the sort of legislation that shows the EU at its best - by working together we can overcome problems, sometimes the very problems caused by easier travel. I hope that the UK Government adopts this into UK law very soon."