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EU endorses new road safety plan

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A new road safety plan proposed by the European parliament could see foreign motorists who commit major traffic offences in any of the 27 EU countries tracked down and punished.

European Union ministers have yet to approve the proposal, under which different EU nations will swap car registration details to help find drivers who have broken the road regulations.

The new rules are expected to be implemented in 2013.

If a foreign driver is caught, along with rise in car insurance premiums, he may also face fines, a driving ban and imprisonment.

Punishable offences under the scheme include drink driving, speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt and to stop at traffic lights.

EU figures have revealed that although foreign drivers account for just 5% of traffic in Europe's roads, they commit 15% of speeding offences across the continent.

European commissioner for transport Siim Kallas has said that a foreign driver is three times more likely to commit a traffic offence than a motorist who is a resident.

Mr Kallas also added: "These new rules should have a powerful deterrent effect and change behaviour."

© Press Association 2011