13 October 2022
France has a reputation for being strict regarding speeding infringements.
Speeding fines in France.
If stopped by police, you’ll receive an immediate penalty. Officers could also confiscate your licence, be banned from driving, or arrest you.
To ease the burden on the over-stretched Gendarmerie, France has appointed private speed camera cars, and according to the safety agency, Sécurité Toutière, these cameras caught over 500,000 drivers in 2021.
They checked 6,650,000 vehicles in 2021, meaning that one in every 13 cars was speeding.
Privately operated speed camera cars have been operating in parts of France since 2018. In 2021 they were responsible for £67 million in collected fines. The cars are driven by outsourced drivers rather than the police.
They look similar to regular motor cars; there are no distinguishing marks, and they are allowed to exceed speed limits when trying to capture the speeder.
A bit of background, the Interior Ministry makes it clear to Joe Public that the driver’s pay is not incentivised by their success. They adhere to specific routes, driving for six hours daily and issuing around two tickets per hour.
What makes this even more astonishing is that the current operation only covers eight of Frances’s eighteen administrative regions. By 2023 all regions will be covered, providing a vast source of revenue for French governmental coffers.
The moral of this story is; ‘if you see a rather ordinary-looking Renault 5 with a rather ordinary-looking person wearing a beret and a string of onions hanging out of the window, be careful, be very, very careful.’