Hundreds of foreign drivers escape prosecution for speeding in Suffolk

Two men have been released on bail

Two men have been released on bail

More than 300 foreign drivers caught speeding in Suffolk have escaped prosecution because police databases are unable to track drivers registered outside of the UK.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner has branded it “appalling” and called for a system to be put in place across European Union countries to ensure those who break the law are accountable.

Tim Passmore said the situation was “simply not good enough” after Suffolk Constabulary figures showed 302 foreign vehicles were captured by speed cameras exceeding the legal limits in the county in 2014.

However, no fines were able to be issued as the registered keepers of the cars, vans and lorries were unable to be identified as they were not traceable on a database.

Although officials can check the Police National Computer for UK registered vehicles, they cannot access records for other European countries, leaving errant drivers to get away with speeding if they are caught on camera.

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Speeding has long been the major issue raised by residents at meetings and roadshows around the county attended by Mr Passmore, and has become one of the major priorities of his time in office.

Mr Passmore said: “I think it is appalling. This simply is not good enough. It’s unacceptable.

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“Nobody should be above the law. We need a system right across Europe to ensure people are held accountable and the full force of the law should be brought to bear.”

Superintendent Jon Dodman, head of specialist operations for Suffolk and Norfolk constabularies, said if a police officer stops the driver of a foreign vehicle for speeding then the motorist pays the price.

However, it is when a motorist from abroad is caught by a speed camera that there is an issue around finding the individual concerned.

Officers acknowledge there is work to be done to find a solution to the problem.

Supt Dodman said: “There is work going on across Europe in terms of the liaison and co-ordination of various countries in the European Union.

“The way things are set up at the moment it is not happening because if you trigger a speed camera in Suffolk and are a foreign driver with no registered address the issue is how do you get prosecuted for that offence.”

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