With the national Road Safety Council due to meet on Friday, the government has revealed plans to roll out the number of speed cameras in France, reaching a total of 4,200 by the end of 2013.
“We don’t want to indefinitely multiply the number [of speed radars],” Frédéric Péchenard, the government’s delegate for road safety, told French daily Le Parisien, describing 4,200 as “the optimal number.”
“Between 2002 and 2012, we’ve succeeded in saving 36,000 lives on our roads, and 80 percent of that is thanks to the installation of speed cameras,” he added.
The government plans to add roughly 100 new radars by end of year, while also replacing out-dated models with a new generation of “more intelligent and more efficient” cameras, according to Péchenard.
France has implemented a raft of new measures to tackle excessive speed in recent months.
In March, the government launched 20 “undetectable” and “uncheatable” mobile speed radars, concealed in unmarked police cars.
According to Péchenard, they have been responsible for catching 10,000 violations in just the last three months, and 300 more of them will be sent out on to French roads in the next three years.
In May, the French Senate passed a law to clamp down on speeding foreigners, allow authorities here to send tickets to their home country.
The UK, Ireland, and Denmark, however, have refused to sign up to the EU directive behind the legislation.
The use of speed radars, however, is not without its critics in France.
Back in April, motorists’ rights group ’40 millions d’automobilistes’ (40 million motorists) unveiled a detailed map of the country, featuring “France’s sneakiest speed radars.”
In it, motorists lament incoherent speed limits, and hidden or sneaky positioning of cameras.
Earlier this spring, a group of rogue French police found themselves in hot water with their superiors after taking the law into their own hands by disabling motorway speed cameras, in an apparent show of solidarity with motorists facing fines.