France's speed limit u-turn "will not affect fines"

Road safety officials reject lawyer's claim that 'hundreds of thousands' of speeding cases could be cancelled after government u-turn on 90kph speed limits

Changing the speed limit back to 90kph on France's secondary road network will not lead to the cancellation of 'several hundred thousand ongoing speeding cases', road safety officials have insisted.

In a statement, the délégation à la sécurité routière denied "that fines imposed in the event of non-compliance with the 80kph maximum speed limit on two-way roads without a central separator, which came into force on 1 July 2018, could be affected by the decision that may be taken in the future, after voting on the law on mobility orientation, by the presidents of the County Council to set the maximum authorised speed at 90kph on roads currently at 80".

The government road safety organisation described the legal analysis of lawyer Rémy Josseaume - who told Franceinfo the new regulations could apply "automatically retroactively to all ongoing proceedings" - as 'erroneous'.

"The return to 90 kph is the application of the law that is more advantageous for the motorist to the detriment of the less advantageous," he had claimed.

Therefore, he argued, that any motorist with a case currently being processed for speeding at less than 10kph above the 80kph limit imposed nationwide in July 2018 should be able to request that the procedure be nullified.

He went on to say that those caught driving at higher speeds may be able to apply for their offences to be downgraded.

But, sécurité routière said: "Articles R. 413-14 and R. 413-14-1 of the Highway Traffic Act punish the fact that any driver of a motor vehicle exceeds the maximum authorised speed. These texts will neither be repealed nor amended: the constituent elements of the offence will remain the same, as will the amount of the fine, which depends on the extent to which the authorised speed has been exceeded.

"The law therefore penalises the fact of not respecting the speed limit in force."

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