Loophole sees over 16,000 speeding fines cancelled in five years in Northern Ireland

Thousands of speeding drivers have evaded prosecution because their cars aren’t registered in the UK, UTV can reveal.

The figures over the last five years show 16,000 drivers have avoided prosecution since 2018.

The speeding vehicles have been detected by the road safety partnership speed vans and fixed speed cameras across Northern Ireland.

Those driving cars registered in the United Kingdom receive a letter in the post from the PSNI when they are caught speeding. They face three penalty points and a £60 fine or in some cases a speed awareness course.

However those with vehicles registered in another country simply have their offence cancelled.

The PSNI’s Head of Road Policing, Superintendent Gary Busch, explained: “Speeding fines can be levied in two ways, either by uniformed Police officers who can issue an Endorsable Fixed Penalty Notice (EFPNs) which involves the endorsement of penalty points on a driving licence and carries a fine of £60, or through detection by Road Safety Cameras.”

“If the detection is by speed camera, the Fixed Penalty Processing Centre (FPPC) will issue a Notice of Intended Prosecution to the registered owner who must provide the details of who was driving the vehicle at the time of the offence, to the FPPC.

“Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN’s) have to be paid in full at the Courts and Tribunals Service Fixed Penalty Office either in person or by post at which time, driving licences must also be handed in so that they can be endorsed.”

“The Courts and Tribunals Service Fixed Penalty Office only deals with the payment of FPNs issued in the North and the endorsement of driving licences. If a foreign driver decides not to pay the FPN, there is currently no mechanism to permit lawful postal service of a summons thereby bringing them before a Northern Ireland court.”

Road safety campaigner Peter Dolan has been left shocked by the figures.

He told UTV: "Obviously there is a loophole that needs to be addressed and closed, it’s not acceptable.”

“People should know the consequences of speed on the roads”

“Time is of the essence and its important that the powers that be take a look at the legislation and see that they can do sooner rather than later”

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