23,000 foreign drivers escape speeding fines since Jan 2013

More than 23,000 foreign drivers have escaped speeding tickets in the UK since January 2013, equating to more than £23 million in unpaid fines.

More than 23,000 foreign drivers have escaped speeding tickets in the UK, according to new information published by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

Since January 2013 a grand total of 23,295 overseas drivers have managed to slip speed fines, equating to more than £2.3 million in unpaid offences.

Foreign speeders go unconvicted

The statistics were uncovered following an IAM freedom of information request to police authorities asking exactly how many foreign motorists were caught by speed cameras in England and Wales.

Despite the incredible number of recorded offences, not one driver was pursued by UK police owing to the fact that the foreign vehicles in question are not registered on the DVLA database. It is therefore extremely difficult to track down the vehicle owner to serve the penalty.

Director of policy and research at the IAM, Neil Greig, has already called for action in response to the latest figures:

“The high numbers of oversees speeders on our roads show how important it is that the UK joins up with the rest of Europe to harmonise motoring offences and give the police extra powers to pursue dangerous drivers.

“Progress on this issue has been very slow and in the meantime thousands of drivers are avoiding fines and bans simply because their cars cannot be easily traced.”

111mph top speeding fine recorded

The data also shows that the highest speed that went unpunished by the police was 111mph on a section of the M25 in Kent – perhaps the driver was rushing back to catch a ferry?

One other overseas motorists was caught travelling at 109mph in a 50mph zone on the M3 in Surrey, while two other motorists were clocked at three-figure speeds – one driver at 102mph in the Thames Valley area, another travelling at 100mph on the A31 in Hampshire.

It was Thames Valley police force that had the highest density of foreign speeders, too, with 3,580 offences noted.

Merseyside followed with 2,477 foreign speeding tickets, while Warwickshire let 2,152 fines go uncollected.

Take a look at the table below to see the fastest foreign speeders by region.

RegionTop recorded speed (mph)Number of offences
Kent1111,954
Surrey109541
Thames Valley1003,580
Hampshire100994
Gwent992,090
Metropolitan981,586
Devon and Cornwall97692
Gloucestershire9692
Leicestershire95969
Sussex91741
Humberside90584
Merseyside872,477
Norfolk84380
Northamptonshire84447
Nottinghamshire831,423
South Yorkshire82198
Greater Manchester74Not available
Derbyshire7476
Durham6112