Today Anneliese joined other Labour MEPs in voting for measures to make it easier to prosecute foreign drivers who commit traffic offences in the UK.
The new measures will enable British authorities to quickly trace offenders across the EU. Despite attempts by the UK government to delay the measures, Labour MEPs pushed for- and won- an accelerated introduction of the measures.
Anneliese said “In the South East, over 7,000 offences were committed by overseas drivers in 2013 and 2014 , with the highest recorded speed being 111mph. This shows how serious this problem is. I have been campaigning for greater co-operation between member states on road safety issues for some time, so I am pleased that we have persuaded the rest of the Parliament that quick action must be taken".
The law covers mutual access for member states to information needed to trace vehicle owners across the EU, and can be used for eight areas of road traffic offences: speeding, non-use of a seat belt, failing to stop at a red light, drink driving, drug driving, failing to use a helmet, use of forbidden lanes and using a mobile phone while driving. Previously the UK opted out of information exchange in this area, but it has now been placed under a different category of EU law, making compliance mandatory.
The government's previous opt-out meant that not only were dangerous drivers were getting away with speeding and other offences, but also that local authorities were not able to collect the fines which these offences would incur. The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) have revealed that overseas drivers have escaped 23,295 speeding offences since January 2013, which is the equivalent of £2.3 million worth of speeding tickets.
Unfortunately, all the UKIP MEPs for the South East voted against the new measures, along with one of the Conservative MEPs for the South East.
Commenting on their opposition to the measures, Anneliese said: "It is disappointing that UKIP and some Conservative MEPs decided to play politics with peoples' safety on our roads".