Era of camera-free French roads is over

11th June 2018, by Chris Gill

Editor Gill's just rewards for exceeding French speed limits

Editor Gill's just rewards for exceeding French speed limits

If, like me, you have become used to a relaxed speed regime on French roads (especially on truck-free French motorways), be warned: things have changed, and changed radically.

Throughout my long skiing career I have taken liberties on French motorways, safe in the knowledge that they were not patrolled by the gendarmerie and the belief that they were not overlooked by cameras. If the weather has been good and the traffic light, I’ve regularly pared hours off the journey time to Geneva or Grenoble. Now, I’m going to have to mend my ways.

Over the past two/three months, four speeding fines have landed on my doormat from M Macron, all generated by automatic cameras. Fortunately, the fines are by British standards quite modest – €45 a pop, if you pay reasonably promptly.

An article in the Torygraph from a year ago reveals that it was only last spring that new EU laws came into effect allowing international access to car ownership data (and presumably car rental data – my hire cars were Swiss-registered) and ultimately to fine the owner/renter. (The French don’t mess about trying to clarify who the driver was, as we do in the UK.)

My “infractions” took place on four different roads on the fringes of the Alps – the A40 and A41 motorways and the Routes Nationales 90 and 201 – on dates dotted through February and March. I was using hire cars from Geneva, so don’t interpret this info to mean that the the new policy and infrastructure are confined to the Alpine départements. There are cameras nation-wide. There is even a website listing them here.

I hope M Macron spends my €180 wisely.

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