The ten places in France where you’re sure to be caught speeding

The French government is cashing in since it expanded its speed camera network. Here are the ten speed traps that flashed the most in 2017.

The ten places in France where you're sure to be caught speeding
Photos: AFP

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.

READ ALSO: The crimes foreigners are bound to commit in France


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France to triple its arsenal of ‘super speed cameras’ by 2020

Up to 1,2000 “speed cameras of the future” will be installed on roads across France by the end of next year, three times the initial amount projected. The hi-tech spy cameras do much more than clock drivers’ speed.

France to triple its arsenal of 'super speed cameras' by 2020
Photo: AFP

France’s government has decided to shrug off the ire many “yellow vest” protesters feel towards speed cameras and triple its fleet of high-tech radars tourelles, from the 400 planned for this year to 1,200 by the end of 2020. 

The devices are capable of not only clocking your speed but also recording a variety of other misdemeanours, such as phoning while driving, sudden swerving, not respecting the safety distance between vehicles, jumping a red light, not wearing a seatbelt, or overtaking on the right, which is illegal in France.

Three quarters of France’s existing speed cameras have been vandalised since the start of the “yellow vest” protests last year, but these newest models are perched on four-metre tall posts and are said to be far harder to vandalise than existing ones.


“The speed cameras are painted, hammered or wrapped in something but five to seven days after the damage report has been filed they get fixed,” Emmanuel Barbe, France’s Interdepartmental delegate for Road Safety, told Le Parisien.

“For every speed camera that’s damaged beyond repair we replace it with a newer turret speed camera.

“So far we have installed 150 to 200 of these new models. Our goal is to install 400 to 450 by the end of 2019 and 1,200 by the end of 2020. “

Asked what percentage of speed cameras were currently out of order after being vandalised, Barbe said he’d rather not answer the question so as to not encourage criminal practises. 

The cameras, whose brand name is the Mesta Fusion 2 and which can monitor eight lanes of traffic and several vehicles at once, will reportedly only be used initially to catch people speeding.

There will however be four decoy cameras for each operating one, and the decoys and the real ones will be switched regularly to prevent drivers figuring out which are the ones catching them breaking the law.