Cross-border driving leads to more collisions, says report

Increased driving between countries is leading to more collisions throughout Europe, according to a report published by the ABI.

The ABI, working with a coalition of motoring and road safety groups, has developed proposals to tackle the problem. These include better guidance for motorists on road laws in different countries, greater information sharing between countries to enable tighter enforcement, and a review of licensing standards throughout the European Union.

The report found: :

- In the UK over 18,000 collisions a year are caused by drivers coming from continental Europe. European heavy goods vehicles are three times more likely to be involved in an accident than UK HGVs.

- Britons driving in continental Europe caused over 5,000 accidents in 2006.

- In Switzerland, cross-border drivers commit half of all traffic offences.

- In France, cross-border drivers are responsible for a quarter of all traffic offences in border areas, and 15% of accidents throughout the country.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI’s Director General, said:“Greater movement throughout Europe must not mean more dangerous roads. With 45 major differences in the road laws between Member States, it is hardly surprising that cross-border driving is leading to more collisions.

"Our proposals focus on better information sharing and law enforcement. We call on the UK Government and the European Commission to recognise the scale of the problem and build on the first steps they have taken to ensure that drivers can travel more safely throughout Europe.”