The Russian authorities have finally decided to take care of foreign drivers who break traffic rules and go unpunished. The local Ministry of Transport will create a system to punish drivers with foreign registration numbers. And this applies to violations up to two months back.
Currently, it is impossible to send a Notice of Intended Prosecution abroad – there are no adequate databases and no system for this purpose. Meanwhile, foreign drivers, as the capital’s authorities claim, feel increasingly confident in Russia. The worst situation is in Moscow – in the last year and a half there have been 1.86 million offences in the city, caused by passenger vehicles with foreign registration numbers. Only 28,800 people were punished; in the remaining cases (98% of all offences) the guilty were not found.
Ukrainians (24,000 cars), Armenians (1,750) and Moldovans (1.47%) are the leaders in infamous statistics. The list also includes vehicles with Bulgarian, Georgian, German, Latvian and Azeri registrations. Customs have too little data on drivers, and if, in addition, they come from Belarus or Kazakhstan, which are part of the Eurasian Economic Union, no data is recorded at all when they cross the border.
Meanwhile, the number of foreigners committing road safety offences is increasing. For this reason, the authorities have commissioned the creation of a system that will allow the issuing of a ticket and the punishment of road pirates, both those that drive passenger cars and heavy goods vehicles. There is much to suggest that transport companies will receive penalties for professional drivers, although this information is not yet confirmed.
Inevitable penalties for foreign drivers
As a temporary solution, the simplified action plan will soon be applied in Moscow and other major Russian cities. The city’s traffic management centre will use camera data to create a list of the most notorious offenders. The data will be handed over to the traffic police. On the basis of the information received, officers will stop vehicles for road checks. If the driver confesses to the offences committed, they will be detained and punished for all offences committed within the previous two months, regardless of whether it was they who drove the vehicle in the past. The driver’s data will be stored in a special database.
In the next stages, the system will also be integrated with information systems of the Customs Service and the Road Transport Inspection Authority. Then the drivers entered into the system as debtors and persons avoiding liability will not be allowed into the Federation.
At this point, it is not known when the system will be operational. In June this year, President Vladimir Putin recommended ‘to take appropriate steps to ensure the inevitability of punishing foreigners and foreign carriers’ by 1 February 2020.
Poland also has a similar problem
If a speed camera registers an offence committed by an EU citizen, the request for the owner of the vehicle is sent to the National Contact Point. After obtaining the required data, a statement for completion is sent to the address of residence indicated in the NCP, and then, in accordance with the expressed will, a ticket is sent.
The situation is different in the case of offences committed with vehicles registered outside the European Union. Due to the unavailability of databases, it is not possible to identify the owner of the vehicle, in particular, the owner’s address details.
Nevertheless, the General Inspectorate of Road Transport has taken some measures to enforce penalties against foreign drivers. Currently, 75 CANARD (Automatic Road Traffic Supervision Centre) inspectors are on duty on the roads, driving unmarked cars equipped with mobile recording devices and having permanent access to the system. It allows checking if the vehicle observed on the road is present in the system.
According to the Polish General Inspectorate of Road Transport, this year alone, CANARD inspectors issued a thousand tickets to nearly 650 drivers driving vehicles registered across the eastern border of Poland. The number of fines paid totals of 109,000 Polish zloties (approx 25 thousand euros).