Driving bans for speed trap group

Licences are suspended for Facebook users who alerted 10,000 drivers to presence of speed checks

4 December 2014

FIFTEEN drivers who used Facebook to warn of police speed checks have had their licences suspended, in a French first that could set a legal precedent.

The group, based in the Aveyron, were found guilty in Rodez criminal court of undermining police road safety efforts, an offence described in French as soustraction à la constatation des infractions routières.

More than 10,000 people had subscribed to their page, which was regularly updated with sightings of mobile speed cameras.

All the defendants were handed a one-month driving ban. Some other charges, relating to verbal abuse towards police officers, were dropped.

The drivers have yet to decide whether they will appeal. If it is not overturned, the case could have a knock-on effect on similar groups set up to warn of speed traps - but also local newspapers and radio stations.

Defence lawyer Rémy Josseaume says the ruling makes no sense, as even gendarmes themselves use Facebook to promote their roadside checks.

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