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Road Safety Act 2006


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About time there was something that could be done to tackle Foreign drivers who break the law!



"Police Get New Powers To Tackle Foreign Drivers


Police across the country have new powers to take immediate action against foreign drivers who break traffic laws....



Under new provisions which came into force yesterday in the Road Safety Act 2006 foreign drivers, and British residents who can’t prove a valid address in Britain, face on the spot financial payments of up to £900. Police have the power to request immediate cash in pounds sterling or credit/debit card payment. If the alleged offender can’t pay their vehicle can be immobilised until the payment is made.


Police can also immobilise defective vehicles until they are repaired - currently half of all foreign vehicles stopped are found to have defects - or until commercial vehicle drivers have taken a rest break if they have exceeded their permitted driving time.


The new law seeks to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on our roads each year. It also sends a very clear message to motorists that no one is immune from the law.


Under the old system...

Until now, police couldn’t issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to offending foreign drivers because there was no guarantee that a penalty would be paid within 28 days and there was no provision for checking whether or not they had already committed previous offences which would lead to automatic driving disqualification in the UK.


While the police have always been able to arrest foreign drivers who have committed an offence, it has been very difficult until now to take follow up action in respect of other than the most serious offences. This new system overcomes that former difficulty.


Under the new system...

Head of the Roads Policing Unit, Chief Inspector Roscoe Walford, said: ‘The new law will help police deal more effectively with non UK residents who commit driving offences.


'The motoring public and general community have long wanted this. It provides a much fairer system whereby all motorists are treated the same regardless of who they are and where they are from, and it brings us into line with other European countries.


'Many foreign drivers ignore our road rules because they know that even if they are caught, nothing will happen. But by hitting them in the hip pocket immediately, the new law creates a disincentive to break the law. If this saves one person from death or serious injury, and one family from suffering the trauma of losing a loved one, the new law has done its job.’


The new powers were launched on Wednesday by Kent Police and the Road Safety Minister, Jim Fitzpatrick, at the road services at junction 8 of the M20.


Road Safety Minister, Jim Fitzpatrick, said: ‘We want to keep our roads as safe as possible and these tough new measures mean that any driver who breaks the rules of the road - putting themselves and others at risk - will have to face the consequences.


‘The only way for drivers and hauliers to avoid tough penalties will be to obey our traffic laws and ensure their vehicles are fully roadworthy.’


More than 74,000 freight vehicles travel on Kent roads weekly. It’s believed that about one fifth of those are registered abroad. About three million foreign vehicles enter Britain annually with many of them travelling through Kent as the county is the gateway to the UK and Europe.


In addition, there were 72 collisions and 113 injuries involving non UK registered left hand drive vehicles on Kent roads between 1 October 2007 and 30 September 2008."



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