EIGHT foreign motorists are caught speeding in the Lothians every day – but avoid paying the fines because they are never pursued.
Figures show a total of 3182 speeding offences involving foreign drivers in and around the Capital over the past 12 months, which could have brought in £318,200 in fines.
And with the high number of tourists, Lothian and Borders was the site of more than three-quarters of the dodged speeding offences in Scotland.
Foreign vehicles are not registered with the DVLA and so cannot be chased for fines when they leave the country.
The latest figures were revealed in a freedom of information request to Police Scotland by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
Neil Greig, the IAM’s director of policy and research, insisted the problem would be better tackled under new EU negotiations set to harmonise UK motoring offences with the rest of Europe – allowing the government to track offending drivers when they return abroad.
He said: “The high numbers of foreign speeders on our roads show how important it is that Scotland 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.
“By including cross-border enforcement among new devolved powers, the Scottish Government could further enhance its road safety credentials and deliver safer roads even sooner.”
Mr Greig said the Lothians was a particular hotspot for foreign speeding fines due to tourism and the number of fixed speed cameras on the A1. He added: “There is a potential danger here. There’s a perception that people are getting away with it and we don’t want that. From a road safety perspective, speed cameras are there for a reason – it’s a safety issue.”
An AA spokesman said the number of offences revealed a widespread problem with motorists flouting road rules.
He said: “It’s a problem. Drivers don’t want to feel that we as UK citizens have to abide by the law, while foreign drivers get away with it. We always advise our members when they are travelling abroad to accept local laws.”
Drivers caught speeding in Britain currently face fines of up to £100 and three penalty points on their licence.
A Scottish Government spokesman said “vehicle registration and speeding offences” were reserved matters, while the Department of Transport said its priority was to protect the rights of British drivers.
Police Scotland Chief Superintendent Iain Murray said: “We put resources where there is the greatest risk, such as built-up areas where there are more people, more children and where there are more likely to be casualties as a result of speeding motorists.
“This is about improving safety and reducing casualties. Safety cameras are a vital part of this strategy.
“Officers will actively target risk-taking behaviours by foreign drivers as part of their daily duties and where vehicles are identified via camera technology, officers will be directed to priority locations to target drivers who put themselves and others at risks.”