UK drivers breaking foreign road laws on the increase

UK drivers are increasingly being investigated for motoring offences overseas, new figures suggest.

The UK received 1,903 information requests from other countries in relation to its drivers in 2017, up 17% on the previous year.

Investigations are likely to include alleged speeding and drink-driving incidents.

News and data provider Thomson Reuters, which conducted the analysis, says the increase reflects a growing willingness among prosecutors to investigate foreign drivers.

The figures relate to mutual legal assistance (MLA) requests, which are a method of co-operation between states for obtaining assistance in criminal inquiries.

It is generally used for acquiring information that cannot be procured from police forces.

More MLA requests relate to road traffic offences than any other category.

European Union (EU) prosecutors have been able to use the measure since 2015 when the EU Cross Border Directive came into force.

The number of cases could drop as a result of Brexit as it is unclear whether the UK will be tied to current legal frameworks.

Kevin McCormac, editor of Wilkinson’s Road Traffic Offences, said: “The use of cross-border information requests has upended the legal risks of speeding abroad – foreign prosecutors can and will hunt you down.

“British drivers can expect no letup as more and more foreign prosecutors make use of the legal frameworks at their disposal.

“It can be tough for British drivers abroad as they are unlikely to know the finer details of local road traffic laws in other countries and, as a result, it can be very easy to be caught out.”