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Welsh Police Release Numbers of Foreign Speeders 'Let Off'


Article by: maft
Date: 22 Dec 2009

pocketgpsworld.comIt's long been known that driving a foreign car in the UK generally means that you can flaunt the speed limits without fear of prosecution. Welsh police have released some figures under the Freedom of Information Act and the numbers are rather surprising and give a good reason as to why we should have Traffic Officers, and not machines, to police our roads.

This year 2,360 foreign vehicles were 'caught' by fixed speed cameras or Arrive Alive vans - more than 10% of all incidents in the year (based on 19,294 tickets issued in 2008). The police feel it is too expensive to trace the drivers so they are simply let off resulting in a loss of 140,000 to the governments coffers.

New legislation brought in in April 2009 allows police officers to give on the spot fines to foreign-plated speeders at the roadside; the emphasis here being on the words 'police' and 'officer' - the speeder MUST be seen by a police officer on duty. So, those caught by fixed cameras and Arrive Alive vans are still exempt. Only a paltry 150 or so fines have been given out in this manner in 2009!

This is dangerous, surely?! Foreign drivers, not used to driving on the left, are being let off for driving dangerously simply because councils and police have gotten used to relying on speed cameras to do their work. There's something to be said for having real people (traffic officers) watching our roads - if someone is breaking the law, whether a resident or a visitor, then they should be dealt with in exactly the same way and not let off just because they were caught by a Gatso instead of a real police officer.

Link: Daily Post North Wales article.
Comments
Posted by shires999 on Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:46 am Reply with quote

I wonder how many of these 'foreign' cars are actually British but have their number plates in a foreign style like German or French. I see an increasing number of these on my travels now.

Does anyone know if these can be detected by Gatsos and mobile cameras ?


 
Posted by Darren on Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:53 am Reply with quote

shires999 Wrote:
I wonder how many of these 'foreign' cars are actually British but have their number plates in a foreign style like German or French. I see an increasing number of these on my travels now.

Does anyone know if these can be detected by Gatsos and mobile cameras ?

I don't know how capable ANPR is but speed cameras take a photo and that would be easily read by a human. They will also attract the attention of a RPU/Traffic Officer if seen on the road. Perfect excuse for a moving vehicle stop.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by soweezy on Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:08 pm Reply with quote

there are quite a few cars/4x4s around my area with German D euro plates and spaced properly too, eg...



they're all right hand drive, so fairly obvious they're not likely to be German


SW

Garmin Zumo 390LM

 
Posted by s3dbw on Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:27 pm Reply with quote

Yes, but it cuts both ways. I,m sure a lot of people who frequent this web site have taken their cars to Europe and have been snapped on similar cameras.
I,m not saying that its right (either way) but do you really want such cross-border cooperation on matters such as this?


 
Posted by Darren on Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:32 pm Reply with quote

s3dbw Wrote:
Yes, but it cuts both ways. I,m sure a lot of people who frequent this web site have taken their cars to Europe and have been snapped on similar cameras.
I,m not saying that its right (either way) but do you really want such cross-border cooperation on matters such as this?

Get flashed in France by a mobile and you stand a very good chance of being stopped by the Gendarmerie and fined on the spot. The same applies to Germany and Holland.

You can bet other countries follow up these things so why is it just us that let it slide.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by DennisN on Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:01 am Reply with quote

Unfortunately, mine is a Cardiff plate, so I suppose they'll get me (or rather, they would if I did speeding). I'll make sure to get a foreign plate (Bristol) next time.


Dennis

Where there's a will .... there's a wake.

 
Posted by Philip on Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:30 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Foreign drivers, not used to driving on the left, are being let off for driving dangerously
No, they are being let off for exceeding the posted speed limit. This is not necessarily the same thing as "driving dangerously" - speed limits are set for many reasons other than road safety (including noise reduction, environmental reasons, political agendas, revenue generation, etc).


Philip

 
Posted by Darren on Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:36 am Reply with quote

Philip Wrote:
No, they are being let off for exceeding the posted speed limit. This is not necessarily the same thing as "driving dangerously" - speed limits are set for many reasons other than road safety (including noise reduction, environmental reasons, political agendas, revenue generation, etc).

The point remains that UK motorists get pursued and fined if they transgress a mobile speed camera whereas foreign motorists do not.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by Philip on Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:41 am Reply with quote

Darren Wrote:
And?
And the original poster made the (Daily-Mail-like) mistake of equating "exceeding the posted speed limit" with "dangerous driving", when these are not the same thing. I was just pointing this out.

I wasn't making any comment on how equitably speeding drivers are dealt with in their non-domiciliary country.


Philip

 
Posted by DennisN on Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:45 am Reply with quote

Philip Wrote:
I wasn't making any comment on how equitably speeding drivers are dealt with in their non-domiciliary country.

Well, at least some mercies come in small packages


mostdom - edit text colour because I couldn't read yellow


Dennis

Where there's a will .... there's a wake.

 
Posted by Philip on Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:07 am Reply with quote

DennisN Wrote:
Well, at least some mercies come in small packages
Other than as an (entirely unwarranted and unprovoked) ad hominem attack, I completely fail to understand your point.


Philip

 
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