VR 2019/115 Road traffic offences in Europe

VR 2019/115, Michael Nissen - Road traffic offences in Europe

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do!” – these words uttered by Saint Ambrose in 387 AD still apply unreservedly to international road traffic today: Both foreign road users driving their vehicles in the Netherlands or in Germany and Dutch or German road users driving abroad must comply with the respective national rules of the road – or risk bearing the consequences for violations. To many traffic lawyers, foreign fine regulations are a riddle wrapped in an enigma. This is because the drivers concerned are often faced not only with heavy sanctions in the form of drastic fines and disqualification from driving, but also with unfamiliar procedural rules – and, in most cases, barely comprehensible legalese in a foreign language. This lack of knowledge often leads to misunderstandings, which can become costly given the possibility of mutual enforcement of monetary sanctions within the EU. In order to avoid this, it is therefore all the more important to be familiar with the system of foreign fines and their cross-border enforcement.The following comments summarize the current legal basis for the prosecution of traffic offences and the enforcement of fines in Europe as well as in selected holiday destinations.

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