Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Monday, 22 December 2008

Foreign drivers avoid speed fines

A55
The A55 is a popular route used by foreign lorry drivers

Thousands of foreign drivers have escaped punishment in the last year despite being caught speeding, North Wales Police have revealed.

In a reply to a Freedom of Information request, the force said 3,536 offences were recorded by cameras in the last 12 months - up 2,146 on the previous year.

They were not punished because police cannot send a notice of intended prosecution within the required time.

North Wales Police said new laws would come into force on 1 April, 2009.

Most speeding drivers caught by the force face a 60 fixed penalty and three points on their licence.

However police said that if a driver is registered outside the UK, the camera offence is currently "rejected".

Deter

Chief constable Richard Brunstrom, who is "fixed penalty lead" for the Association of Chief Police Officers had called on the Department of Transport for a change in the law.

A North Wales Police spokeswoman said: "The law has been changed and will be coming into effect from 1 April, 2009."

The proposals were backed by Clwyd West MP David Jones, who said there was a need to deter speeding foreign drivers who regularly use the ferry port of Holyhead.

The Department of Transport said the introduction of the Local Transport Act will allow the DVLA to ask its equivalent body in foreign countries for the contact details of non-UK drivers.

They said this will close the loophole which currently means foreign drivers are not sent speeding tickets when caught by UK speed cameras.

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