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Germany to hunt down fines for EU traffic violations
Photo: DPA

Germany to hunt down fines for EU traffic violations

Published: 01 Feb 2010 12:35 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Feb 2010 12:35 GMT+01:00

The German government is reportedly preparing to hunt down drivers guilty of traffic violations in other EU countries in order to collect a potential windfall in fines.

The daily Bild reported on Monday that the authorities would begin following up all fines over €70 incurred across the 27-nation bloc starting in October.

“The EU requirement should improve traffic safety abroad and among other things help reduce speeding,” Free Democratic MP Florian Toncar told Bild. “That should fill the state’s coffers with several million euros.”

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is increasing personnel at the Federal Office of Justice in Bonn solely to focus on tracking down and collecting fines from drivers living in Germany.

According to the paper, 99 new positions could cost up to €6 million a year, but the collected EU-wide fines are estimated to bring in €9 million to €10 million annually.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:33 February 1, 2010 by Jollyjack
They would get much more if they were to crack down on the number of Turks running busnesses that are not registered for tax. I'm thinking of people who offer to fix your 'fridge or TV but give you no receipt or guarantee.
15:05 February 1, 2010 by michael4096
..number of Turks..
Interesting you say that. Around my area, everybody is into 'cash or barter' - but, it seems to be only the Turks that get caught.

Though what this has to do with germans abusing other people's roads, I don't know.
17:05 February 1, 2010 by berlinski
So Germany basically wants to police all other EU states. As the saying goes. Every Germany has a little policeman trying to get out.
22:51 February 1, 2010 by wxman
I've got an idea. When they track them down into other countries, they can ship them back to Germany in trains! What? Oh.
09:51 February 2, 2010 by Legal E
Depends if the fine was legal and if the incriment in the fine was justified and in line with EU Law (for cross border enforcement). This is standard EU Law but then the other country has to send the fine in a language that the driver understands.. i.e. Mr. German, French Police (and 25 other countries). You have to send it in Polish to a Polise national etc etc.
12:18 February 2, 2010 by michael4096
Has anybody read the article?

The germans are collecting fines imposed in other coutries on germans driving badly. They are not policing anybody, not tracking anybody in other countries and language shouldn't be an issue.
15:09 February 2, 2010 by Legal E
The EU law has strict rules about cross border enforcement of fines (i.e.Brussels, 19.3.2008 COM(2008) 151 final 2008/0062 (COD) ). The point is, was the fine legal for the offence? Was the driver informed under his rights of EU law? And was the fine automatically increased to breach the €70 mark to enforce cross border enforcement? This was tried on me but I rebuffed the case as the authorities were automatically increasing the fine until I kindly informed them of the correct laws. They even sent two seperate notices of different speeds at the same time. The whole point is borderless europe but, to do that all 27 countries have to know and understand the law. From my experience very few Stadt Anwalts do. I use Austria, Germany, NL and UK as examples. To enforce EU laws you need to know EU law. However. Enforcement of correctly applied penal charges are a good thing.
16:21 February 2, 2010 by lordwilliams629
German police must be hard up, I mean look at the story of the person getting charged for damage to the police car for running over her dog. What are they going to do next start taking lunch money from school kids for J walking.
18:20 February 2, 2010 by michael4096
sorry lordwilliams, your lack of local street cred is showing

e.g. police do not take the money from fines, neither do the municipality - you don't find, in germany, the 'town hall is broke - enforce the small print' problem that exists in some countries - I remember my first encounter with this in the US, silly speed traps springing up everywhere but going away once the budget was settled
20:03 February 2, 2010 by Legal E
Only to close down my earlier statement and if anyone is really really interested. The cross border enforcement law is: Council Framework Decision 2005/214/JHA, and notwithstanding adherence to §6 of ECHR :-) But it is not just road traffic, any penalty can be cross border enforced. Nite nite ladies.
17:07 February 3, 2010 by x.w.
So the speeders will get fined two times? Once by France for example & then again by Germany? Hardly seems fair to pay twice for a "crime."
17:45 February 3, 2010 by michael4096
No the speeders try to dodge the fine by returning home and forget / don't understand / lose the ticket or ignore the situation. Currently, they often get away with it.

So now the local lads send them a nice letter in german and/or pay them a visit depending on how serious the offence was, explain the situation and make them an offer they probably won't refuse. Pretty much the way it happens with german violations if you ignore them, I guess.
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