Friday 18 July 2014
Brake, the road safety charity
Brake, the road safety charity, has joined a coalition of organisations calling for the UK government to support a proposal to help police catch risky, law-breaking drivers from other countries.
The European Commission proposal, published today and backed by TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, would allow police across the EU to pursue traffic offences against drivers of vehicles registered in another member state, fixing the current situation whereby non-resident drivers are able to escape prosecution for risky driving offences such as speeding. Closing the loophole could save an estimated 350 to 400 lives a year on Europe's roads .
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Through our support services for people bereaved and injured by road crashes, we see time and time again the devastation caused by illegal driving behaviour. The impact is just as catastrophic regardless of where the driver or vehicle is from. Imagine how insulting and incomprehensible it must be then for victims when a driver who puts lives at risk escapes prosecution because their vehicle is registered in another country. Illegal driving crosses borders, so enforcement must cross borders too. We are fully behind this proposal, which would help prevent needless tragedies across Europe."
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, a Fleet Safety Forum, practitioner services, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.
 Cross-border enforcement impact assessment, Commission of the European Communities, 2014 http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/enforcement/doc/full_impact_assessment_en.pdf