Published: 09:27, 22 January 2020
| Updated: 09:27, 22 January 2020
More than 900 drivers of foreign-registered vehicles have evaded speeding fines on the Operation Brock M20 contraflow, it has emerged.
Figures released by police under the Freedom of Information Act reveal since the barriers were put in place between Ashford and Maidstone in April as part of Brexit contingency measures, 2,162 speeding fines of £100 were issued to motorists for breaking the 50mph speed limit.
But of these the drivers of 944 foreign-registered vehicles were not pursued as police says it is not possible to trace the ownership of the vehicles.
And while it has a policy of monitoring repeat offenders, the force has admitted that between February and November last year, no action was taken by 26 drivers of foreign-registered vehicles who had committed multiple offences because none were identified within statutory time limits.
In its response to a Freedom of Information request made by KentOnline, Inspector Daryl McGrath of the Roads Policing Unit said: "Since the installation of speed cameras on the M20 London-bound between Junctions 9 and 8, there have been 944 instances of foreign-registered vehicles caught exceeding the 50mph limit which have not been subject to a Notice of Intended Prosecution.
"This is because such notices have no legal basis outside of the UK, meaning any request from us to pay a fine, attend a speed awareness course or identify the driver at the time of the offence is unlikely to get a response.
"It is important to note that there are other ways in which non-British drivers can be prosecuted for speeding offences such as on-the-spot fines, and efforts are always made to identify a speeding driver if we believe they are still in the country.
"Drivers can also have points placed on a ‘ghost’ UK driving licence, meaning they can be banned just like any other driver if they receive enough points when driving within the UK."
The Operation Brock contraflow has been the subject of criticism from drivers who think being unsafe with the narrow lanes increasing the risk of accidents.
An EU directive introduced in 2017 was supposed to make it easier for member states to track down motorists who had committed a range of offences, including speeding.
More by this authorPaul Francis