Green Flag says Brits’ lack of knowledge about driving abroad, could cost them hundreds of pounds when they get home after new speeding laws came into effect.
Since May, foreign police have been empowered to chase up UK motorists suspected of speeding, but the rules do not allow British police to catch continental drivers in the same way.
Introduced in May this year, the tough regulations mean UK drivers who are caught exceeding the speed limit in EU countries could face a fine of up to £640 but they will not get points on their licences from UK authorities and they don’t have to declare the fine to their insurers.
Green Flag found 81 per cent of UK drivers admit to being completely unaware of the recently amended European speeding laws. With many Brits oblivious to the change in regulations, drivers could see themselves lumbered with an unexpected fine once they’re back on British soil.
When asked what scenarios would cause them to speed whilst driving in the EU, 38 per cent admit their knowledge of speed limits in Europe isn’t up to scratch, while 19 per cent put their speeding down to a failure to work out the difference in KPH and MPH.
Alarmingly, the six per cent of drivers who admitted to causing an accident while driving in Europe, as a direct result of speeding, claim this was primarily due to not understanding the European speed limits or confusion over metric measurements.
Following the research findings, Green Flag is urging drivers to get to grips with EU road regulations to avoid potential accidents caused by speeding. Don’t confuse the 100 kph sign and do 100 mph as that is actually 160 kph and will attract a big fine.
|Simon Henrick, head of news at Green Flag said, “Driving over the speed limit inevitably increases the likelihood of an accident, so it’s important for people to drive carefully on the road – whether at home or on the continent.
“To avoid breaking the law and subsequently being met with a hefty fine, it’s important that drivers research the local road regulations and get up to speed on their metric measures before driving abroad.”
|Top reasons Brits speed abroad
By accident 45%
The one-way prosecution law has annoyed UK drivers and a whopping 81 per cent insisted they want European tourists fined if they speed in the UK. Despite their outrage, only two fifths (38 per cent) of UK drivers claim they would definitely pay a European fine if caught speeding in a different country – with the rest of rebellious Brits who have been fined not paying up because they either forgot all about it, thought it was unfair they got the fine, or tried to appeal it.
However, over 50 per cent of UK drivers said the new guidelines wouldn’t put them off driving abroad – despite a quarter (24 per cent) admitting to already being nervous when driving in the EU.
Speed limits in the UK and Europe
|Type of road||UK||Europe|
|Motorways||70MPH||Autobahn roads variable *|
|Dual Carriageways||70MPH||Motorways 120KMPH (74MPH)|
|Single Carriageways||60MPH||Rural Roads 80KMPH (50MPH)|
|Urban Roads||30MPH||Urban Roads 50KMPH (31MPH)|
* Germany has been introducing autobahn speed limits near cities but generally there are no restrictions outside built up areas.