SHARE
COPY LINK

SPEED

The three French regions set to get extra unmarked speed traps

Three regions of France are set to get an extra 60 unmarked cars with speed cameras inside after a successful trial in Normandy last year.

The three French regions set to get extra unmarked speed traps
The cameras will be in unmarked cars operated by private firms. Photo: AFP

The first cars manned by private firms – rather than the French state – were put on the roads in Normandy in April 2018 for a pilot scheme.

Now the French government says that the scheme was a success and three other regions – Brittany, Pay de la Loire and Centre Val-de-Loire – will see the cars rolled out from January 2020.

READ ALSO


Fixed cameras have become major targets for vandals. Photo: AFP

A total of 60 cars – 19 in Brittany, 20 in Pays de la Loire and 21 in Centre-Val de Loire – will run six hours a day, seven days a week.

They will be unmarked and drivers will have no way of knowing when they have been caught by the speed camera.

The French government's website stated: “Radar cars will operate on routes and time slots set by the State services according to local accident criteria.

“They will have equipment capable of reading speed limit signs allowing the radar to operate independently, without any intervention from the vehicle driver.

“For speed measurements of moving vehicles, higher tolerance limits will be used.”

If a driver is caught speeding, the speeding ticket will be processed by the centre national de traitement (CNT) based at Rennes, in exactly the same way as fines issued by police or fixed speed cameras.

Currently, French police have mobile speed cameras concealed in 383 unmarked cars, which are responsible for snaring around 1.5 million cars a year. 
 
But a lack of resources means the police cars with mobile cameras are only in use for an average of one hour a day.
 
Bringing in private firms will mean there there is more possibility for the cars to be out on the roads for much longer.
 
And where two police (or regional police) officers are currently needed for the job, private firms will only need one person. 
 
It was originally planned that the roll-out of unmarked cars beyond Normandy would begin in 2019, but the scheme has now been delayed until the start of 2020.
 
The issue of speeding fines has become a contentious one in France after the government's new 80km/h limit on secondary roads emerged as one of the major grievances of the 'yellow vest' movement.
 
The protesters in rural areas saw the new limit as simply a way for the government to make money from them out of speeding tickets, and thousands of static speed cameras all over France were vandalised.
 
The government insisted that the limit was purely a safety measure, designed to cut the high number of deaths on the roads in France.
 
However, after months of pressure, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe earlier this month announced that he would devolve the issue to local governments, many of whom have already said they intend to scrap the 80km/h limit and go back to the old limit of 90 km/h.
 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

LIVING IN FRANCE

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer's here and the time is right for national celebrations, traffic jams, strikes, Paris beaches, and ... changing the rules for new boilers.

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer holidays

The holiday season in France officially begins on Thursday, July 7th, as this is the date when school’s out for the summer. The weekend immediately after the end of the school year is expected to be a busy one on the roads and the railways as families start heading off on vacation.

READ ALSO 8 things to know about driving in France this summer

Strikes

But it wouldn’t really be summer in France without a few strikes – airport employees at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports will walk out on July 1st, while SNCF rail staff will strike on July 6th. Meanwhile Ryanair employees at Paris, Marseille and Toulouse airports will strike on yet-to-be-confirmed dates in July.

READ ALSO How strikes and staff shortages will affect summer in France

Parliamentary fireworks?

Prime minister Elisabeth Borne will present the government’s new programme in parliament on July 5th – this is expected to be a tricky day for the Macron government, not only does it not have the parliamentary majority that it needs to pass legislation like the new package of financial aid to help householders deal with the cost-of-living crisis, but opposition parties have indicated that they will table a motion of no confidence against Borne.

Parliament usually breaks for the summer at the end of July, but a special extended session to allow legislation to be passed means that MPs won’t get to go on holiday until at least August 9th. 

Fête nationale

July 14th is a public holiday in France, commemorating the storming of the Bastille which was the symbolic start of the French Revolution. As usual, towns and cities will host parades and fireworks – with the biggest military parade taking place on the Champs-Elysées in Paris – and many stores will remain closed.

As the national holiday falls on a Thursday this year, many French workers will take the opportunity to faire le pont.

Festival season really kicks in

You know summer’s here when France gets festival fever, with events in towns and cities across the country. You can find our pick of the summer celebrations here.

Paris Plages

The capital’s popular urban beaches return on July 9th on the banks of the Seine and beside the Bassin de la Villette in northern Paris, bringing taste of the seaside to the capital with swimming spots, desk chairs, beach games and entertainment.  

Summer sales end 

Summer sales across most of the country end on July 19th – unless you live in Alpes-Maritimes, when they run from July 6th to August 2nd, or the island of Corsica (July 13th to August 9th).

Tour de France

The Tour de France cycle race sets off on July 1st from Copenhagen and finishes up on the Champs-Elysée in Paris on July 24th.

New boilers

From July 1st, 2022, new equipment installed for heating or hot water in residential or professional buildings, must comply with a greenhouse gas emissions ceiling of 300 gCO2eq/KWh PCI. 

That’s a technical way of saying oil or coal-fired boilers can no longer be installed. Nor can any other type of boiler that exceeds the ceiling.

As per a decree published in the Journal Officiel in January, existing appliances can continue to be used, maintained and repaired, but financial aid of up to €11,000 is planned to encourage their replacement. 

Bike helmets

New standards for motorbike helmets come into effect from July 1st. Riders do not need to change their current helmets, but the “ECE 22.05” standard can no longer be issued – and all helmets sold must adhere to a new, more stringent “ECE 22.06” standards from July 2024

New cars

From July 6th new car models must be equipped with a black box that record driving parameters such as speed, acceleration or braking phases, wearing (or not) of a seat belt, indicator use, the force of the collision or engine speed, in case of accidents.

New cars II

From July 1st, the ecological bonus for anyone who buys an electric vehicle drops by €1,000, while rechargeable hybrids will be excluded from the aid system, “which will be reserved for electric vehicles whose CO2 emission rate is less than or equal to 20g/km”.

What’s in a name?

Historically, the French have been quite restrictive on the use of family names – remember the concern over the use of birth names on Covid vaccine documents? – but it becomes easier for an adult to choose to bear the name of his mother, his father, or both by a simple declaration to the civil status. All you have to do is declare your choice by form at the town hall of your home or place of birth.

Eco loans

In concert with the new boiler rules, a zero-interest loan of up to €30,000 to finance energy-saving renovations can be combined with MaPrimeRénov’, a subsidy for financing the same work, under certain conditions, from July 1st.

Rent rules

Non-professional private landlords advertising properties for rent must, from July 1st, include specific information about the property on the ad, including the size of the property in square metres, the area of town in which the property is in, the monthly rent and any supplements, whether the property is in a rent-control area, and the security deposit required. Further information, including the full list of requirements for any ad, is available here.

Perfume ban

More perfumes are to be added to a banned list for products used by children, such as soap-making kits, cosmetic sets, shampoos, or sweet-making games, or toys that have an aroma.

Atranol, chloroatranol (extracts of oak moss containing tannins), and methyl carbonate heptin, which smells like violets, will be banned from July 5th, because of their possible allergenic effects.

Furthermore, 71 new allergenic fragrances – including camphor, menthol, vanilin, eucalyptus spp. leaf oil, rose flower oil, lavendula officinalis, turpentine – will be added to the list of ingredients that must be clearly indicated on a toy or on an attached label.

Ticket resto limits

The increased ticket resto limit ended on June 30th, so from July 1st employees who receive the restaurant vouchers will once again be limited to spending €19 per day in restaurants, cafés and bars. The limit was increased to €38 during the pandemic, when workers were working from home.

SHOW COMMENTS