BRITISH holidaymakers who commit traffic offences while driving in the Balearics could find themselves not only going home with a lovely sun tan, but a traffic fine as well.
Under a new European directive currently being discussed in Brussels, but expected to become law, EU traffic police forces will be given full access to the DVLA data-base and therefore able to track British drivers, who have committed a traffic offence while driving their British-plated cars on the continent, to their UK home. The new rules being drawn up by EU transport ministers will mean an end to drivers avoiding punishment by returning home to the UK. Once approved, fines for parking and speeding offences as well traffic congestion charges and motorway tolls will all be sent to the driver's home and failure to pay will result in legal action being taken by the British courts. Drivers refusing to co-operate with the law, will then get a visit from the bailiffs.
The new scheme has received a mixed welcome in Britain with motoring organisations concerned about the complicated process of drivers having to familiarise themselves with the different traffic laws across Europe.
For example, here in the Balearics, drivers must carry a reflective green jacket in case of breakdown or accident while drivers who wear glasses, can be fined for failing to have a spare pair on board.
What is more, bans on drivers in any of the EU member states will become applicable across the EU.
Britain and Spain already share a reciprocal agreement over banned drivers.
It appears, however, that the driving force behind the new regulations has been some of the British police forces, tired of being unable to take action against foreign drivers committing offences on the UK roads. More importantly, are foreign truck drivers failing to comply with Britain's HGV rules and regulations.
The traffic rules will be included in the new Convention on Mutual Recognition of Financial Penalties which is expected to be approved and signed within the next two years.