Page last updated at 09:20 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 10:20 UK

Foreign drivers owe 4.5m fines

Lamborghini Murcielago
The council wants the right to access overseas driver and vehicle data

Foreign drivers owe a London council more than 4.5m in parking fines, it has emerged, with owners of luxury "super cars" the worst culprits.

Westminster Council said parking fines on more than 80% of foreign-owned cars and motorbikes were unpaid, as it cannot trace their owners overseas.

They include a Rolls Royce Phantom owner who owes 3,000 in fines.

The council wants the legal right to access overseas driver and vehicle registration data.

The council said hundreds of motorists from across Europe, the US and Middle East were currently evading fines.

Foreign drivers who bring vehicles to the UK are required to register them with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) after they have been in the country for six months.

UNPAID PARKING FINES
Rolls Royce Phantom

Lamborghini Murcielago owner -
17 unpaid tickets, owes 2,000
Ferrari Scaglietti -
19 tickets, 2,000
Rolls Royce Phantom (above) -
23 tickets, 3,000
Hummer -
35 tickets, 4,000
Unspecified motorcycle -
400 tickets, 45,000
Source: Westminster Council

Whenever a parking ticket is issued, councils require driver information from the DVLA.

If that vehicle has not been registered, the council is unable to trace that information or enforce the fine as its parking laws do not apply outside the UK.

Westminster Council wants all motorists who break parking laws to face the same penalties, regardless of their citizenship or where their vehicle was registered.

Mr Danny Chalkley, from the authority, said: "A tiny minority feel as though the rules of this country do not apply to them.

"We would like to see a more rigorous system put in place to send a clear message that this blatant disregard of the law will not be tolerated."

He added: "Each of those vehicles owes us thousands of pounds. They owe that money to the Westminster Council tax payer."

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said changes are being made to address the problem.

"The Local Transport bill, which is currently going through parliament, will allow the DVLA to obtain foreign drivers' details and pass them on to local authorities," the spokeswoman said.




SEE ALSO
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29 Jan 07 |  London

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Milton Keynes Citizen Foreign drivers owe - 42 hrs ago
Channel 4 News Non-UK drivers owe 4m parking fines - 42 hrs ago



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