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France finally puts brakes on impunity for Monaco's speeding drivers

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France finally puts brakes on impunity for Monaco's speeding drivers
AFP
12:03 CET+01:00
The days of drivers from Monaco being able to get into their sports cars and repeatedly break the speed limits on French roads without fear of being fined are over.

A prosecutor in western France is leading the charge to close the loophole that allows drivers from the Riviera principality to speed in France without being punished.

Monaco is only two square kilometres in size yet it has the most millionaires per head in Europe - no doubt attracted by its low tax rates. And many of those rich residents own fast sports cars and like to burn rubber.

Nicolas Jacquet, from Rennes in Brittany, who is in charge of France's speed cameras, has been fighting for two years to persuade authorities in Monaco to allow France to pursue its wealthy residents who have been breaking the speed limit.

He is tired of speeding drivers collecting up tickets without fear of fines dropping through their letter boxes or legal proceedings being launched against them.

Monaco is not in the EU and so is not obliged by the EU directive of March 2015 to allow France access to its vehicle register to process tickets when drivers are caught speeding by roadside cameras.

Jacquet says many drivers are repeat offenders.

"A certain number of motorists in luxury sports cars were caught committing very serious speeding offences, more than 50km/h above the limit and some far above that," he said.

"I cannot accept drivers who put the lives of citziens in danger on our national territory but then benefit from total immunity," Jacquet told AFP

In 2016 he sent a list of 206 car registrations to authorities in Monaco - 97 of which had clocked up at least 50 driving offences in France and 109 which had broken the law at least 10 times. But prosecutors in Monaco stressed they could not launch legal proceedings against the drivers but sent out warnings to drivers reminding them of the laws.

One driver was even found to have committed 384 individual offences. In all over the last four years some 400 dirves have committed 13,000 offences on the roads.

Last year Jacquet sent another list of 231 vehicles, this time the owners of which were summoned to hearings. 

Jacquet says he now has an agreement with Monaco's general prosecutor to put an end "to drivers behaving with total impunity".

According to the magistrate the solution will be through a bilateral agreement. In future the names of offenders will be sent to local authorities in southern France who will launch legal proceedings.

Maximum speeding fines can reach €3,000

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