Police in Mansfield and Ashfield have admitted they are powerless to close a legal loophole that lets speeding foreign drivers put local lives at risk - and escape prosecution.
Figures released today by the Institute of Advanced Motorists reveal that 1,423 foreign drivers escaped prosecution, despite being caught on camera exceeding the speed limit on Nottinghamshire roads in the last finacial year.
A police spokesman said that the force would prosecute if a driver was physically caught by officers, but they were currently unable to trace the addresses of speeding drivers from overseas who are caught on camera.
A police spokesman said: “This is a nationally recognised issue and plans are in place at national level for future enforcement techniques.
‘However, at the moment there is an obvious difficulty in tackling this issue as we do not have access to foreign registration systems.”
Figures obtained by the charity revealed that oversees drivers have escaped a total of 23,295 speeding offences nationally – the equivalent of £2.3 million worth of speeding tickets.
The IAM is calling for police to be issued with more powers to pursue drivers from overseas who flaunt the law.
One driver was recorded doing 83mph in a 50mph limit on a Nottinghamshire road, the figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request revealed.
But it is unclear why Nottinghamshire has such a high number of speeding foreigners - with neighbouring Derbyshire reporting just 76 overseas drivers had escaped prosecution, while in South Yorkshire the numbers were slightly higher at 198.
IAM spokesman Neil Greig said: “The high numbers of oversees speeders on our roads show how important it is that the UK joins up with the rest of Europe to harmonise motoring offences and give the police extra powers to pursue dangerous drivers.
“Progress on this issue has been very slow and in the meantime thousands of drivers are avoiding fines and bans simply because their cars cannot be easily traced.”
Nationally, Thames Valley was highest with a total of 3,580 offences recorded against foreign motorists, while Merseyside was second with 2,477.
The highest recorded speed was on the M25 in Kent, where a foreign car was clocked doing 111mph in a 70mph zone.
The news has angered many Chad readers.
Commenting on our Facebook page, Mike Clifton said: If you get caught speeding in France it’s an on the spot fine. No money and the vehicle is confiscated. It’s the same EU, so why not the same rules here?”
Jane Ashall told Chad: “Whoever it is that commits an offence should get the same punishment and abide by English law. We wouldn’t get away with it if we were in another country.”
Reader Gabrielle Alexandra Lomas added: “This is an issue caused by the procedures of the DVLA, not drivers deliberately getting away with it.”