France’s Interior Ministry unveiled this week just how profitable its fleet of speed cameras was in 2017.
A total of 26.1 million speed infractions were recorded in 2017 by 3,275 cameras across the country, which according to data from state auditors the Cour des Comptes amounted to €1.01 billion in fines.
These dizzying figures reflect just how good the French state has got at catching out speedsters, even before it started recruiting private firms to do some extra policing work on the motorways with mobile speed cameras.
And while there might be an even spread of speeing fines being dished out across l’Héxagone, France’s Interior Ministry has revealed which cameras have turned into cash cows for public coffers.
And they are all on the country's autoroutes.
Here are the ten speed cameras that flashed the most in 2017:
1. Speed camera on the A40 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc to Mâcon direction (Haute-Savoie): 125,074 speeding infractions
2. Speed camera on the A31 Metz to Toul direction (Meurthe-et-Moselle): 120,991 speeding infractions
3. Speed camera on the A10 towards Paris in the department of Essonne: 105.134 speeding infractions
4. Speed camera on the A16 Dunkerque to Boulogne (Pas-de-Calais): 102,302 speeding infractions
5. Speed camera on the A10 Paris to Chartres in the department of Essonne: 98.006 speeding infractions
6. Speed camera on the A8 Puget-sur-Argens to Mandelieu-la-Napoule (Var) : 94.013 speeding infractions
7. Speed camera on the A6 Paris to Lyon (Côte d'Or): 93,477 speeding infractions
8. Speed camera on the A6B heading out of Paris (Paris): 87,457 speeding infractions
9. Speed camera on the A40 Geneva to Lyon (Haute-Savoie): 81,699 speeding infractions
10. Speed camera on the A7 Marseille to Lyon (Rhône): 76,220 speeding infractions
The number one spot on 2017's ranking is likely the same speed camera on the A40 that came in first in The Local's 2013 review of France's prolific speed traps. This camera near the tiny south-eastern French town of Clarafond-Arcine went off 377 times a day in 2013.
“It's easy enough to respect the speed limits that are in place,” Emmanuel Barbe the government's road safety tsar warned drivers back in May.
“I'd like to remind drivers that before every speed camera there is a sign warning them of its presence so it's up to each individual to take responsibility”.
Drivers in France should be even more careful nowthat ‘speed camera’ cars operated by private companies have already been rolled out in Normandy and the plan is that “all of France will be covered by mid-2019”, meaning speedsters could be caught on any road.
The fact that the French government cut the speed limit on secondary two lane roads from 90km/h to 80 km/h on July 1st is likely to mean more drivers fall for speed traps as well.
The state’s increasingly watchful eye over the roads is also seeing more drivers take out their road rage on the speed cameras themselves.
France’s Cour des Comptes recorded an increase in speed cameras broken or damaged by furious motorists, from 23 in 2016 to 40 in 2017.