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2022 FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

‘Nothing is decided’ – Macron calls on supporters to block far-right

Despite emerging as top of the polls in the first round, president Emmanuel Macron has warned that nothing is certain as the country moves towards a second round of voting.

French President Emmanuel Macron addresses supporters.
French President Emmanuel Macron addresses supporters. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Macron addressed supporters following the first round of the election, in which he scored around 28 percent, according to the preliminary results. 

His first-round score was the highest of any incumbent president since socialist leader François Mitterrand in 1988.  

But after thanking his supporters and those defeated candidates who have now publicly backed him, the incumbent urged caution. 

“Make no mistake: nothing is decided. The debate that we are going to have over the next fortnight will be decisive for our country and Europe,” he said, urging supporters to “spare no effort” to win over voters to his side. 

A survey conducted by IFOP after preliminary first round results were published suggests that Macron will win just 51 percent of the vote in the second round run-off against 48 percent for far-right leader Marine Le Pen, although other early polls had a slightly wider gap. 

LIVE: Macron and Le Pen qualify for second round of French election, preliminary results show

“I invite our fellow citizens, whatever their political leaning, to join us. Some will do so to block the far right and I am aware that this does not mean support,” said Macron.

“I am ready to create something new, to gather people of diverse convictions and concerns, to build a unified project in the service of our nation for years to come. That is our power.

“We can make the choice of hope. I am counting on you”

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POLICE

France proposes getting rid of penalties for ‘minor’ speeding offences

The French government is considering changing speeding laws so that drivers will not lose points on their licence if they are caught going just a few kilometres over the speed limit.

France proposes getting rid of penalties for 'minor' speeding offences

France’s Interior Ministry is considering changing its current rules for minor speeding violations – proposing getting rid of the penalty for drivers who only violate the rule by going just a few kilometres over the speed limit.

The Ministry has not laid out a timeline for when this could come into effect, but they said they are currently in the preliminary stages of studying how the change could be carried out.

“The fine of course remains,” said the Interior Ministry to French daily Le Parisien.

That is to say you can still be fined for going five kilometres over the speed limit, but there might not be any more lost points for driving a couple kilometres over the posted limit. 

READ ALSO These are the offences that can cost you points on your driving licence

Of the 13 million speeding tickets issued each year in France, 58 percent are for speeding violations of less than 5 km per hour over the limit, with many coming from automated radar machines.

How does the current rule work?

The rule itself is already a bit flexible, depending on where the speeding violation occurs.

If the violation happens in an urban area or low-speed zone (under 50 km per hour limit), then it is considered a 4th class offence, which involves a fixed fine of €135. Drivers can also lose a point on their licences as a penalty for this offence. 

Whereas, on highways and high-speed roads, the consequences of speeding by 5 km per hour are less severe. The offence is only considered 3rd class, which means the fixed fine is €68. There is still the possibility of losing a point on your licence, however. 

How do people feel about this?

Pierre Chasseray, a representative from the organisation “40 Millions d’Automobilistes,” thinks the government should do away with all penalties for minor speeding offences, including fines. He told French daily Le Parisien that this is only a “first step.”

Meanwhile, others are concerned that the move to get rid of points-deductions could end up encouraging people to speed, as they’ll think there is no longer any consequence.

To avoid being accused of carelessness, France’s Interior Ministry is also promising to become “firmer” with regards to people who use other people’s licences in order to get out of losing points – say by sending their spouse’s or grandmother’s instead of their own after being caught speeding. The Interior Ministry plans to digitalise license and registration in an effort to combat this. 

Ultimately, if you are worried about running out of points on your licence, there are still ways to recover them.

You can recover your points after six months of driving without committing any other offences, and there are also awareness training courses that allow you to gain your points back. It should be noted, however, that these trainings typically cost between €150 and €250, and they do not allow you to regain more than four points.

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