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Tougher regulations for foreign lorry drivers

PUBLISHED: 15:52 08 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 12 August 2010

FOREIGN lorry drivers who break the law can now face up to £900 on the spot fines following the announcement of new powers. Under new provisions in the Road Safety Act 2006 foreign drivers who cannot prove a valid address in Britain will be targeted. If

FOREIGN lorry drivers who break the law can now face up to £900 on the spot fines following the announcement of new powers.

Under new provisions in the Road Safety Act 2006 foreign drivers who cannot prove a valid address in Britain will be targeted.

If the alleged offender is unable to pay their vehicle can be seized until the payment is made.

More than 74,000 freight vehicles travel on Kent roads weekly, with many using the A2 through north Kent as a link to London and the port of Dover. It is thought about a fifth are registered abroad.

Kent Police Chief Inspector Roscoe Walford said: "The new laws will help police deal more effectively with non-UK residents who commit driving offences.

"The motoring public and the general community have long wanted this. It provides a fairer system whereby all motorists are treated the same regardless of who they are and where they are from and it brings us into line with other European countries.

"Many foreign drivers ignore our road rules because they know that even if they are caught, nothing will happen."

He added: "If this saves one person from death or serious injury and one family suffering the trauma of losing a loved one the new law has done its job."

There were 72 collisions and 113 injuries involving non UK registered left hand drive vehicles on Kent roads between October 2007 and September 2008.

The new law was announced last Wednesday by Kent Police and the Road Safety Minister, Jim Fitzpatrick,

Powers also allows police to seize defective vehicles until they are repaired and make commercial vehicles drivers take a rest break if they have exceeded their permitted driving time. Currently half of all foreign vehicles stopped are found to have defects

Mr Fitzpatrick said: "We want to keep our roads as safe as possible and these tough new measures mean that any driver who breaks the rules of the road - putting themselves and others at risk - will have to face the consequences.

"The only way for drivers and hauliers to avoid tough penalties will be to obey our traffic laws and ensure their vehicles are fully roadworthy."

Until now, police could not issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) because there was no guarantee it would be paid within 28 days and not way off checking previous offences.

michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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