Enforcing French traffic infringement fines overseas.
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Thread: Enforcing French traffic infringement fines overseas.

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default Enforcing French traffic infringement fines overseas.

    One in four speeding fines in France are issued to foreign drivers. In the holiday season this rises to 1 in 2. The Europeans are steadily advancing in their ability to add points on EU licences and to enforce the fines cross-border. They announced today that the Spanish and French will pursue their nationals for payment of fines incurred in the other country. Spaniards caught speeding in France exceed the French in Spain by 5 to 1.

    If you are caught in France and have a non EU licence thern you may be escorted to an ATM to pay the fine or continue the discussion in the police station. In Spain you may find yourself in jail overnight, so the folklore goes.

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    It seems like things hav/nt changed much in Spain since 1974 when I last drove on the continent .The insurance you needed [called green card ] for Europe included a bail bond for Spain .

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to know whether all those pesky visitors to France that get booked have number plates and markings from outside the country? There is a legend here in Oz that if you drive in NSW on Victorian plates you are ten times more likely to get picked on by the NSW cops for minor offences than a local because you stick out like dogs nutz and are fair game.
    Last edited by Kim Luck; 31st July 2013 at 10:01 AM.
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    Icon10 The need to speed V the need to Tax, or vice versa vices....

    The motorist is a fine source of state funds, next they will charge an administrative fee for collecting the fine, I can see the day that you will need to attend and get a clearance exemption form from your local tax office before you travel and pay for that administrative service of course... Or even better like companies in Australia you might be required to pay "provisional tax" on your likely future transgressions, that way of course would have the sweetener of discounted fines and charges!!

    Only limited by the dreams of bean counters??

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    JBN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    It would be interesting to know whether all those pesky visitors to France that get booked have number plates and markings from outside the country? There is a legend here in Oz that if you drive in NSW on Victorian plates you are ten times more likely to get picked on by the NSW cops for minor offences than a local because you stick out like dogs nutz and are fair game.
    Its actually the other way around. Mexican cops hate Nuisance Welshmen.


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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Good!
    It's another lovely day! Again!

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    There is a legend here in Oz that if you drive in NSW on Victorian plates you are ten times more likely to get picked on by the NSW cops for minor offences than a local because you stick out like dogs nutz and are fair game.
    Yeh yeh, blame the number plate.

    "I swear officer, the number plate made me drive like like a learner"


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    Icon10 Border to Border camera speed traps...

    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    Its actually the other way around. Mexican cops hate Nuisance Welshmen.


    John
    Absolutely no hate at all, please come.. Welcoming to any strangers, didn't see that hidden camera? Ah well thanks for the contribution, come back again, especially Noo South Welshmen love em, and back on topic I guess that is the same philosophy in Europe as speed camera sites proliferate.......

    Ken

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    1000+ Posts The Gonz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    ...Spaniards caught speeding in France exceed the French in Spain by 5 to 1...
    Bloody Spaniards.
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    It would be interesting to know whether all those pesky visitors to France that get booked have number plates and markings from outside the country? There is a legend here in Oz that if you drive in NSW on Victorian plates you are ten times more likely to get picked on by the NSW cops for minor offences than a local because you stick out like dogs nutz and are fair game.
    I don't think this is much of a factor, most of the fines come from radar speed detectors. I saw a cartoon recently that sums it up. A mortor cyclist and passenger are proceeding down a main road with radar traps at 50 metre intervals on both sides and the passenger shouts out "Look out! Tree"
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Are the majority of radar cameras fixed or mobile Gerry? Are they all tested daily and found to be accurate? Do the officers that operate them carry the certificate of accuracy with them and can they produce it when they want to book you? If you are booked by a fixed (i.e: non movable) camera what evidence can the authorities show to prove that the accuracy of the camera was tested immediately before it booked you the suspect? These questions and many more are constantly in my mind, and should be in everyone else's!
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    Easy rule - don't exceed the speed limit and you won't get booked. 130 km/h on dry autoroutes in France is ample. Besides, any faster and you just get to the next toll booth that much faster! If you are truly touring in France and do not have to do huge distances, try to avoid the motorways anyway - they are usually boring and now days very expensive.
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    That wasn't the real point! Even at legitimate speeds radar speed traps are notoriously inaccurate.
    It's another lovely day! Again!

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    I think most people don't realise there are by far less cameras in Europe than Australia. At a guess, I would say Australia would be able to supply Europe with enough cameras for the next century (perhaps South Australia alone could do that). I think in Oz, it is an abuse of speed cameras/traps which reinforces my opinion it is all a revenue raising exercise.

    Besides, legislation differs between countries in Europe. In Switzerland for instance, if they send you a fine home and you declare you were not the driver on that day, the police can not ask you to nominate who was driving your car because of privacy laws. And we know the swiss are very private. Speeding is tolerated on their freeways from what I have seen as long as it is not over the top.

    Fines issued in Austria for instance will find you even in east-european countries and have had this capacity for a few years now. Austria is quite intolerant with speeding or other traffic offences, and they don't really care if you're on a foreign plate. On the contrary if you are on a east-european plate. Otherwise they are very strict and correct. Parking regulations in Vienna are perhaps the most fiercely enforced and more costly than a speeding fine.

    The dutch are quite relaxed about speeding, everybody does it, again with some common sense. Denmark is similar. In Sweden I passed a police car at 160km/h on a freeway (limit 140) and they didn't even look at me. I discovered then that everybody was doing the same. And this is on a snow covered freeway.

    In the Czech republic police patrols mainly the cities and I don't think they care about speed on the freeway. They do care about parking (again). Hungary has a strong police presence on the freeways as does Germany, and they don't really tolerate speeding. They will actually chase you even if you're on a bike.

    I have not seen speed cameras in France, and I crossed it from North to South-East recently, in a hurry. The police only stopped me once when coming from Belgium in an Austrian rental car, but not for speeding. I think it is their way of patrolling the border, they were more interested in the contents of my boot, probably looking for drugs.

    To finish off, the only camera I have seen in Europe was in Belgium and from what the locals told me everybody knew where it was, slowed down for it and then sped up again. Belgian police was non existent from what I can tell.

    So there you go. Speed cameras and so on are all peachy keen and everything but I think abusing your power to use them is not any more excusable than speeding and I don't think it has the claimed effect of reducing crash statistics. If you need revenue, get an economy. On the other hand, in Europe to have a licence you have to demonstrate some real ability to drive.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 1st August 2013 at 12:40 AM.
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    I did see a couple of 'em on the autoroutes in the South of France. They're hidden in the median strip.
    A problem also is that the French underworld like stealing foreign cars. My Dutch neighbour's heavily modified M5 (capable of 300km/h) was stolen in Paris, and over a period of many months spotted by police engaging in crime. But they could never catch it.

    I drove 1569km of European freeways in one night (France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands), between a French dinner and a Dutch breakfast. Needless to say, my average speed had to be well over the speed limit. Despite a few short breaks and "going easy" (i.e. under 160km/h) until 1am, I sat on around 200km/h pretty much the entire way. Minimal traffic, zero cops. Ideal. Try driving 250km between Sydney and Canberra and you spot at least a dozen police cars. Meanwhile the gangs in South West Sydney keep shooting.
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    Well isn't it obvious, it's much easier and safer to hassle naughty motorists than to risk catching a stray bullet isn't it?
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    The system in France has recently been changed. They are no longer required to indicate the presence of radar in advance. There will be 4,200 in place by the end of the year. They are a mix of fixed, fixed advisory with a display and no camera, mobile in police cars, mobile in unmarked cars and now average speed measuring installations on autoroutes.
    NSW has about 750 fixed cameras + mobiles.

    It is virtually impossible to challenge a fine. You are guilty unless proven innocent. To challenge a fine you have to pay in advance the fine plus a deposit for the initial legal costs of the challenge. If you win you get these back. if you lose you have your legal charges and a penalty on the fine to pay. It can take months to get a court hearing. Class actions are impossible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    The system in France has recently been changed. They are no longer required to indicate the presence of radar in advance. There will be 4,200 in place by the end of the year. They are a mix of fixed, fixed advisory with a display and no camera, mobile in police cars, mobile in unmarked cars and now average speed measuring installations on autoroutes.
    NSW has about 750 fixed cameras + mobiles.

    It is virtually impossible to challenge a fine. You are guilty unless proven innocent. To challenge a fine you have to pay in advance the fine plus a deposit for the initial legal costs of the challenge. If you win you get these back. if you lose you have your legal charges and a penalty on the fine to pay. It can take months to get a court hearing. Class actions are impossible.
    That reverse onus is a bit like the American ease of drug testing, they just put a sample in a machine and second later it prints out the chemical composition - here in Victoria we send all drugs for exhaustive analysis, which means it takes months of delay, when I told the Americans Law enforcement officers (LEO's) that they just laughed, yes we can do that too, if a person believes the machine test is not accurate then they can ask it be sent to the FBI lab and if the result is the same as the original they have to pay for it, hence hardly any disputes.

    I tried to sell our leaders on that, but they preferred to stick with tradition of "proper" analysis, but where cameras are involved and revenue becomes king, everything is made so difficult to challenge by motorists and you are fought tooth and nail through the courts to defend the secrecy of the faults etc.

    They have the ones in round poles in Sweden and the swedes tend to just accept it when pinged and pay up, I never heard anyone whinge about them, whereas in England where they infest so many roads, the complaints and attacks on them reveal a great deal of mistrust and anger.

    Ken

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    1000+ Posts Renomad's Avatar
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    Back in 2000, we (dad was driving) got 'flashed' by a camera while travelling along some back road in Belgium.
    The car was a Eurodrive Renault with the tax free numberplates.
    In 2006 a similiar thing happened to him again, he's over there now and he hasn't heard anything from the authorities about his previous indiscretions.
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    As Gerry says, speed cameras are prolific in France now - many nicely hidden as short posts in the middle of the freeway, some at the tops of hills on Route Nationales and most are painted that brown colour like some components in a DS engine bay.

    I see Patrick is waxing lyrical again though. After more than 20 years of driving between Cooma and Wollongong/Sydney, other than perhaps a Sunday afternoon of a ski weekend I am yet to see "at least a dozen" HWP cars between Canberra and Sydney - on average we would see three and that includes picking out the all too easy to spot unmarked cars. I can tell you where they like to sit and take great delight when someone zooms past me at +120km/h when I know there is a usual observation area just up the road. Oh how we laugh!
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