28. 09. 12. - 16:29
Foreign motorists continue to escape traffic fines
Thousands of foreign motorists are ignoring fines for traffic offences knowing that there is no chance they will end up to court and forced to pay.
The foreigner drivers who break the law and are getting away with it were exposed during question time when the freedom party in the Upper Austrian regional Parliament asked local traffic Minister Reinhold Entholzer (SPÖ) for statistics.
He said that between 2007 and 2011 there were on an annual basis between 233,000 and 249,000 road traffic offences in which foreigners were involved. He said that for the German and Swiss motorists it was not a problem recovering any fines. For the remainder – averaging around 135,000 a year – there was nothing that can be done.
Entholzer admitted that the situation was unacceptable but said that with the EU law currently the way it was because enforce fines – although that was set to change in November.
He said that in November a Europewide database was supposed to go into effect that would allow people guilty of traffic offences from speeding through to drugs and alcohol or telephoning while driving to be forced to pay.
The freedom party MP Herwig Mahr who posed the question that there was about 50 million that was being lost as a result of the fines not being paid and that it was the Austrian taxpayer that was left holding the can in having to pay the extra cash to cover the deficit.
He said it was an unfair system but it was one that Enholzer said there was nothing they could do about until the EU introduced their new guidelines to tackle the problem.