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TRIMIS

Video Enforcement for Road Authorities 2

VERA2

Video Enforcement for Road Authorities 2

Background & policy context: 

In 2000, over 40 000 people were killed and 1.7 million people injured on the roads in the EU-15. The enforcement of road traffic laws is seen as one of the key approaches to help reduce the number of casualties.

With the growth in cross-border traffic in Europe, enforcement agencies are faced with an increasing number of traffic violations committed by drivers of vehicles registered in other countries. For example, in its first four months of operation, approximately 25% of the violations recorded by the French national automated speed enforcement programme were by vehicles registered outside France.

There is still a wide variation in the way that these 'cross-border' violations are dealt with by European countries. A small number of countries have bilateral agreements, however in the majority of cases there are no defined ways of dealing with violations recorded by automated enforcement systems (speed cameras, etc) which are committed by non-resident drivers, and thus in most cases they are ignored.

This situation clearly contravenes Article 12 of the European Community Treaty which states that European citizens must not be discriminated against on the grounds of nationality. They must be treated in a fair and equitable manner regardless of their State of origin or citizenship, and traffic laws and their enforcement must therefore apply equally to all.

VERA2 acted on the short- and long-term recommendations of the first VERA project which highlighted the need to address the enforcement of road traffic laws across Member States' borders. VERA2 identified, defined and scoped the key technical tools and the inter-agency relationships necessary to support cross-border enforcement. At the request of the Commission, VERA2 also drafted text for a possible future Directive on cross-border enforcement.

Objectives: 

The aim of VERA2 was to enable the consistent enforcement of road traffic laws across Europe.

Specific objectives of the project were to:

  • Draft and agree on a Memorandum of Understanding (which eventually became text for a draft Directive on cross-border enforcement at the request of the Commission) to define inter-agency relationships and responsibilities related to cross-border enforcement;
  • develop and test a common format for the exchange of data relating to cross-border enforcement;
  • establish the basis of an operational framework within which cross-border enforcement can be implemented, monitored and maintained; and
  • develop a common basis for the type approval of enforcement equipment throughout Europe.
Methodology: 

The starting point for the methodology was the 'VERA principle', developed by the predecessor VERA project (EU 4th Framework Programme). This principle states the following:
'In order to invoke the enforcement of penalty for a violation across Member States' borders, all legal processes (including appeals) have to be concluded in the Member State where the violation took place. If, once these processes are complete, the penalty incurred cannot be enacted on the vehicle owner/driver responsible, the power to enforce the penalty can be delegated to the Member State where the vehicle owner/driver is resident.'

The tasks in the project were as follows:

  • Dissemination and Liaison 
    This involves a Liaison Group of interested parties, workshops, links with national administrations, etc.
  • Data Exchange Format and Pilot
    A key component of implementing cross-border enforcement is the exchange of data between agencies in Member States. This will be enabled through the use of a common data exchange format ensuring that all agencies participating in cross-border enforcement will have agreed definitions of the data that fully defines a violation, that they will know exactly what data to exchange with other signatories and will understand what format it must be exchanged in. VERA2 developed a enforcement data dictionary to illustrate these concepts. In order to show the necessity of this common data exchange format, VERA2 developed a simple demonstration system. This was based on open, non-proprietary standards and used the enforcement data dictionary as a basis for the exchange of key enforcement data in a language-independent manner. The work built on that already completed as part of the DATEX initiative which developed a traffic and travel data dictionary primarily focusing on traffic events but which did not take into account the data exchange needs of enforcement agencies.
  • Organisational Framework
    The operational framework defined how a cross-border enforcement network could be established in the EU. Known as the European Enforcement Network (eNFORCE), such a network could be responsible for coordinating and managing the 'operation' of cross-border enforcement as well as for monitoring its progress and maintaining the enabling tools as necessary.
  • European Type Approval
    Trust between national administrations is necessary such that each Member State must accept other Member States' violation records, their
Institution Type:
Institution Name: 
European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN)
Type of funding:
Key Results: 

There were four key results from the project: 

  • Draft text for a possible future Directive on cross-border enforcement 
  • An enforcement data dictionary and demonstrator 
  • 'eNFORCE' concept for an organisational network to facilitate cross-border enforcement 
  • Proposals for a common basis for the type approval of enforcement equipment.

At the request of the Commission, VERA2 prepared draft text for a possible future Directive on cross-border enforcement. This defined the basis on which cross-border enforcement could take place across the EU. It defined which parts of the enforcement chain should be conducted by the Member State in which a violation takes place and which parts need to be transferred to the Member State where the vehicle is registered (if different). It also defined how different agencies responsible for enforcement within each Member State should interact with others at a European level.

The exchange of data between enforcement agencies in Member States is a key component of implementing cross-border enforcement. This will be enabled through the use of a common data exchange format ensuring that all agencies participating in cross-border enforcement will have agreed definitions of the data that fully defines a violation, will know exactly what data to exchange with other signatories and will understand what format it must be exchanged in. VERA2 developed a enforcement data dictionary to illustrate these concepts. In order to show the necessity of this common data exchange format, VERA2 developed a simple demonstration system. This was based on open, non-proprietary standards and used the enforcement data dictionary as a basis for the exchange of key enforcement data in a language-independent manner. The work built on that already completed as part of the DATEX initiative which developed a traffic and travel data dictionary primarily focussing on traffic events but which did not take into account the data exchange needs of enforcement agencies.

The eNFORCE concept defined how a cross-border enforcement network could be established in the EU. This network could be responsible for coordinating and managing the 'operation' of cross-border enforcement as well as for monitoring its progress and maintaining the enabling tools as necessary.

Trust between national administrations is necessary such that each Member State must accept other Member

Policy implications

The project produced eleven key recommendations, as follows: 

  1. Cross-border enforcement should be established on the basis of the VERA Principle(s) and Article 1 of the European Treaty.
  2. To ensure that all citizens can be treated in a fair and equal manner, all Member States should conduct cross-border enforcement in accordance with VERA2 Recommendation 1. This can best be achieved through a Directive on cross-border enforcement prepared under the third pillar of the European Union (Justice and Home Affairs). Non-Member States should be encouraged to participate.
  3. There are widespread differences between the types of penalties imposed by Member States for the same (or similar) offence. Financial penalties and the endorsement of a violator's driving licence with 'penalty points' are used widely, either on their own or in different combinations. VERA2 has proposed a mechanism for the cross-border enforcement of financial penalties. At the current time, there is no equivalent legal mechanism for the cross-border enforcement of driving license endorsements. As a consequence, in Member States where the endorsement of a violator's driving licence is the primary penalty (and therefore, the primary deterrent), violators who do not reside, are not a citizen or do not have income or property in the State where the violation took place cannot be treated in the same way as those that do. VERA2 recommends that this issue needs addressing at a European Commission-level to ensure that all penalties can be enforced across Member States' borders.
  4. Implementing and conducting cross-border enforcement in accordance with VERA2 Recommendation 1 needs to be carefully managed and structured. This can best be facilitated through a formal network of agencies and organisations committed to ensuring that violators of road traffic legislation will be made to pay all penalties due regardless of where the violation was committed or where the violator lives, work or are recognised to have citizenship. 
  5. The VERA2 Consortium has expanded the concept of the formal network for managing and structuring cross-border enforcement. It has developed outline plans for eNFORCE - an organisational network meeting the requirements of VERA2 Recommendation 3 supported by an enforcement data exchange service. 
  6. The Enforcement Data Dictionary developed by VERA2 in support of the eNFORCE Demonstrator should be expanded to addr
Partners: 

BELGIUM:

ERTICO

  

FRANCE: 

Ministère des Transports, de l'Équipement, du Tourisme et de la Mer;

Carte Blanche Conseil.

 

GERMANY:

TB - Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt.

 

IRELAND:

TISPOL/An Garda Síochána

 

SPAIN:

Servei Català de Trànsit;

LISITT, Universitat de València.

 

THE NETHERLANDS:

KLPD - Korps Landelijke Politiediensten;

NMI - Nederlands Meetinstituut Certin BV.

 

UNITED KINGDOM: 

IBI Group Ltd;
ACPO - Association of Chief Police Officers;

Police Scientific Development Branch; TRL Ltd.

 

SWITZERLAND:

Rapp AG Engineers + Planners;

ASTRA/OFROU/FEDRO - Bundesamt für Strassen.

Organisation: 
Korps Landelijke Politiediensten / IBI Group
Address: 
Postbus 100
Zipcode: 
3970 AC
City: 
Driebergen
Contact country:
Telephone: 
+31 318 502 472 / +44 (0)20 7017 1850
Fax Number: 
+31 318 655 847 / +44 (0)20 7251 8339