Scandal of 11 foreign drivers a day who escape speeding fines
MORE than 7,000 foreign drivers have been caught by speed cameras in Scotland since the start of 2013 – but not one of them was fined.
Several of the reckless motorists escaped justice despite driving in excess of 100mph.
The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act by Police Scotland, show that 7,196 foreign drivers were captured on speed cameras over the period – almost 11 every day.
Road safety campaigners described the figures as “chilling”.
They blame the problem on the fact that police do not have access to a European database that would help them identify foreign speeders.
As well as posing a risk to road users, the speeders escaped a minimum in fines of £720,000 over the period.
The worst area in Scotland between January 2013 and October 12 this year was Edinburgh, Lothians and Scottish borders with 5,038 cases.
The highest foreign speeder was caught doing 106mph on the 70mph limit A1 dual carriageway at Gladsmuir East Lothian.
Another foreign motorist was caught driving at 72mph in a 30mph limit on Lindsay Road at Bathfield, Edinburgh.
Police Scotland confirmed that no action was taken in any of the cases.
The highest speed recorded anywhere in Scotland was 108mph on the A90 Dundee to Aberdeen road near Mill of Forest, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire.
One of the most dangerous cases involved a foreign driver caught doing 99mph on a 60mph two-lane stretch of the A9 at Golspie, 50 miles north of Inverness.
British motorists driving at similar speeds would almost certainly be forced to appear in court, where they would face a lengthy driving ban and a fine of up £2,500.
The next worst area after Edinburgh was Tayside, where 537 foreign vehicles were caught speeding. The worst case a car doing 107mph on the A9 between Perth and Stirling.
Margaret Dekker (corr), secretary of Scotland’s Campaign Against Irresponsible Drivers (SCID), said: “I am shocked – it doesn’t send out a good road safety message.
“It’s not a victimless crime.”
Ms Dekker said part of the issue was that the UK government retained control over measures to investigate motoring offences committed by foreigners.
She said: “Westminster can’t be taking road safety very seriously.
“The UK has refused to sign a cross-border road safety agreement with Europe. How can the government be serious about road safety education when it is setting a wedge between British and foreign nationals who offend?”
A spokesman for the AA said: “The concern is that foreign drivers are getting away with it. There are plenty of Scottish and British drivers who are a menace on the continent. The difference is, authorities in Europe can chase them back to their homes via collection agencies using DVLA information.
That doesn’t happen the other way round.”
And this week, average speed cameras on the A9 road costing £2.5m were finally switched on after months of campaigns to dual the road instead.
The road is immensely popular with foreign tourists heading to the Highlands. But Scottish police will be effectively powerless to identify those among them who speed.
A spokesperson for Transport Scotland said the new speed cameras on the A9 were able to identify foreign number plates and any decision to pursue the driver of a foreign registered vehicle was a matter for the police.