11/14/2009European Union Creates International Speeding Ticket
European countries connect vehicle records so that automated speeding tickets cross international borders.
Speeding tickets are beginning to cross international borders in Europe, thanks to the European car and driving license information system, or Eucaris. At the beginning of the year, Swiss motorists began being charged for speed camera tickets issued by French authorities. As of October, the French government had collected on a total of 10,000 citations from violations allegedly committed by vehicles registered in Switzerland. A total of 1800 tickets were issued last month alone.
Prior to Eucaris, most countries had no means of collecting on automated tickets issued to non-citizens because there was no automated system that could identify vehicle registrations in a foreign country. Beginning in 1994, a number of authorities upset by losing millions in potential revenue created the drive to standardize the sharing of electronic vehicle and driver's license records among the disparate database systems in twenty countries.
Progress in connecting these databases has been slow. Only last year did The Netherlands and Germany become the first to swap speed camera ticketing information through the Eucaris system. Cross-border tickets will also be issued in Belgium as part of a bilateral information exchange program.
Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom have all signed the Eucaris treaty with the rest of the European Union countries expected on board by August 2011. Once fully connected, officials hope to be able to issue fully international speeding tickets and introduce further uses, such as the collection of per-mile taxes.