European Union Creates International Speeding Ticket

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

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. 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.


Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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4 of 7 comments
  • GS650G GS650G on Nov 15, 2009

    Think of the revenue possibilities. Good thing European residents have more than enough wealth to pay the fines. Lucky for them, they get such good government out of the deal.

  • Martin Schwoerer Martin Schwoerer on Nov 15, 2009

    For the vast majority of people, this is without importance.

    There is hardly any cross-border execution. Basic legal principle: it takes a German court to penalize a German resident. Foreign courts can issue whatever fines they like, but they can't force you to pay up.

    Bertel, you could have ignored that double Dutch letter. Your only risk: to be forced to pony up if a Kaaskopp cop pulls you over for some other reason.

    I say, continental Europe is still a paradise for drivers: there is no other area of society where you can break the law on a regular basis without suffering any consequence.

  • Darth Lefty Darth Lefty on Nov 15, 2009

    "eucharist" is a terrible name for this

  • Jet_silver Jet_silver on Nov 15, 2009

    I hope it is true. The Swiss - at home pusillanimous followers of every law imaginable, and sticklers for speed limit compliance - are on French highways rude, stupid and dangerous. Perhaps they will just stay home. From a Savoyard friend of mine: "See that white cross on the red flag? Watch out. It means 'bore approaching'".