There will be no getting away with traffic violations in other countries very soon. According to a directive that came into force on November 7, road infractions committed anywhere in the EU will now be charged to foreign drivers, even if they have returned to their country of origin.
So far, the UK, Ireland and Denmark are the only EU countries that haven’t signed the directive, but they are expected to shortly.
The National Road Safety Authority (ANSR) will be responsible for enforcing the new directive in Portugal. It says the measure implies “a cross-border mechanism to exchange information electronically, which will allow to identify the owner of the vehicle” so that he/she can be notified of the violation. ANSR stresses the new directive does not intend to standardise traffic laws in EU states – but president of Portugal’s Automobile Club (Autómovel Clube de Portugal – ACP), Carlos Barbosa, disagrees: “The enforcement of such directive requires the standardisation of laws so that in each country the same infraction can correspond to a certain fine.”