Now European speeding fines will apply to British holidaymakers

Courtney Goldsmith
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Watch out! Now you can be hit with a speeding fine for zipping through the French countryside (Source: Getty)

Planning a holiday to the continent soon? Watch out for the speed cameras.

New rules coming into effect tomorrow mean British motorists caught speeding on cameras will face fines in Europe for the first time ever.

UK drivers in countries including France and the Netherlands could be charged with fines of up to £640 as the EU is set to gain access to information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, according to reports.

The new measures, which include fines for offences such as speeding, not wearing a seatbelt or using a mobile phone while driving were already introduced across most of the EU in 2015, but the UK, Ireland and Denmark had two years to comply.

Prior to the new rule, Brits caught speeding on the continent could only be fined if they were stopped on the road or if their details were available because they were in a hired car.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the new speeding fines

However, there is one catch: The rule doesn't go both ways. That's because in the UK, the driver of the vehicle is responsible for fines, meaning UK police will not be able to go after European drivers. In at least 14 EU countries, the vehicle owner is the one who has to pay for fines, even if they weren't driving at the time.

The Department of Transport told the Telegraph the UK is obliged to bring the rules into effect while it is still a member of the EU, but once the country leaves, parliament will have the power to amend the law. According to estimates, speeding fines by foreign drivers cost the UK's government more than £2m a year in lost income.

Read more: Are UK drivers about to be fined for speeding abroad?

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