UK Won’t Say When On Cross-Border Fines

Ireland will adopt new EU rules on cross-border traffic fines soon, but the UK Department for Transport is refusing to say when it will follow suit.

Also, BMW’s ‘highest driver training centre in the world’. With bad weather forecast, migrants and strikers milling around Calais recently it’s ironic it was a technical issue that did for Christmas getaway passengers at the weekend.

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UK WON’T SAY WHEN ON CROSS-BORDER TRAFFIC FINES

No news on cross-border fines as MPs nod through registration data sharing.

British drivers can be caught speeding red handed, but can't have fines sent by post, yet.

British drivers can be caught speeding red handed – as above – but cannot receive fines by post, yet.

The UK Department for Transport is refusing to say when it will attempt to implement EU rules on cross-border traffic fines.

Despite several requests last week, a DfT spokesperson declined to give any details on when the doubtless controversial Directive 2015/413/EU – on ‘facilitating cross-border exchange of information on road-safety-related traffic offences’ – will make it onto the statute books.

It allows respective EU police forces to access driver details on eight offences, from speeding to drink driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

In February, MEPs voted to allow the UK, Denmark and Ireland a grace period of two years to implement the legislation, until 6 May 2017.

All other Member States have already implemented the new rules, or are about to do so. It emerged last week that Ireland will adopt the directive ‘soon’.

Meanwhile, British MPs did agree to share vehicle registration details with other EU countries earlier this month.

Despite being billed as ‘Today’s Tory Euro-row’ by the BBC’s Mark D’Arcy, in the end the motion to opt back into the Prum Convention was agreed without a vote.

The Prum Convention was one of the EU Justice and Home Affairs measures the UK opted-out of en bloc last year.

It allows police forces to run DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data through each other’s databases, in as little as ten seconds in the case of car registrations.

The measure is primarily intended to tackle terrorism, cross-border crime and illegal migration.

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BMW has been running winter driving courses at Solden in Austria since 1990. At 2800m – 9000+ft – the firm is undoubtedly correct to call it the ‘highest driver training centre in the world’. The Otztal Glacier Road is not just the highest paved road in the Alps but stays open all year too (see more open all year high mountain roads). It was also where scenes from James Bond’s Spectre were filmed earlier this year. A wide selection of vehicles from the BMW line up is available – ‘from M4 to X5’ – with courses tailored to beginners, advanced and professionals. Prices start at €410 per person for a half day course rising to €1690 for two nights-three days, staying at the Das Central hotel in Solden. BMW also has a winter driving centre at Arjeplog in Sweden with three and five day courses, from €2290pp. See more.

BMW has run winter driving courses at Solden in Austria since 1990. At 2800m (9000ft+) the firm is undoubtedly correct to call it the ‘highest driver training centre in the world’. The Otztal Glacier Road is not just the highest paved road in the Alps but stays open all year too (see more open all year high mountain roads). It was also where scenes from James Bond’s Spectre were filmed earlier this year. A wide selection of vehicles from the BMW line up is available – ‘from M4 to X5’ – with courses tailored to beginners, advanced and professionals. Prices start at €410 per person for a half day course, rising to €1690 for two nights-three days, staying at Solden’s Das Central hotel. BMW also has a winter driving centre in Arjeplog, Sweden, with three and five day courses, from €2290pp. See more.

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roundup: CROSSING THE CHANNEL. A Christmas getaway weekend from hell for many passengers. Those heading out of Dover on Saturday were warned by DFDS it could take three hours to check-in thanks to 100% passport controls. However, it wasn’t until Sunday morning that the real trouble started. Broken points knocked out one Channel Tunnel leading to hours of delays for drivers leaving the UK. No sooner was that fixed than a broken rail then saw passengers waiting up to eight hours. It wasn’t until late on Sunday evening that normal service resumed, though freight customers back from France were still dogged by – decreasing – delays at midday Monday. The disruption is set to continue overnight with emergency maintenance limiting freight departures to three every ninety minutes. It’s ironic it would be a technical issue causing problems when the days leading up to the weekend were dominated by talk of bad weather, the large scale migrant action on the A16 motorway on Thursday, and a potential strike by freshly disgruntled former MyFerryLink workers. However, as expected, the threat of a Calais blockade has retreated for now. Union boss Eric Vercoutre told AFP on Friday he would hold off on any action until the round table discussions organised by the French Minister of Transport on 10 January, with a further deadline of 31 January for a solution to be found.

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