Fleet News

Furious resistance to French speed cameras

FRENCH fleets face soaring costs after the introduction of the first automated speed traps as part of President Jacques Chirac's campaign to curb the country's lethal driving habits.

Until now, the automated approach has been resisted in France but 30 cameras have been installed, much to the anger of its citizens, according to French newspaper reports.

It is reported that more than 2,000 fines a day are being sent to car owners, most of them for the basic €90 penalty and one point off the 12-point driving licence.

Some motoring campaigners are questioning the legality of the cameras, claiming they are a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

But the French authorities say the cameras are part of a wider initiative to encourage drivers to take more care on the road.

Over the past 18 months, other moves have included fiercer enforcement of the highway code and anti-drink driving laws, which have reduced the death toll by more than 10% to date.

The Government aims to halve the annual death rate, which at 8,000 in 2001 is Europe's highest.

However, the cameras have been met with fierce resistance and in some cases have been vandalised by a sledgehammer and guns.

Police are now planning to protect speed cameras using closed-circuit television. A further 1,000 fixed and mobile units are to be installed over the next two years.

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