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Cameras pick up bad driving

MARSEILLE is to join Nice, Cannes and Valenciennes in using its network of CCTV cameras to force bad drivers to change.

MARSEILLE is to join Nice, Cannes and Valenciennes in using its network of CCTV cameras to force road-hog drivers to change habits.

France’s second-largest city is to use the cameras to levy fines for double-parking in a bid to free up streets often grid-locked and filled with dangerous emissions.

Cameras already installed to counter hooliganism are being given a new lease of life to clamp down on parking offences. They will also be used to catch people driving the wrong way on one-way streets, in pedestrian areas or parking in disabled zones.

Two pictures of the vehicle numberplate are taken, at the start and end of the double parked period, and police send a €35 fixed-penalty fine notice to the holder of the vehicle’s carte grise.

Since the measure was introduced in Valenciennes in March 2010 the town has seen fines for double parking falling by 40%. Town communications director, Barthélémy Guillot, highlighted a “significant fall in offending”.

Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said: “Our aim is not to fine people but to change their bad habits and ease the traffic for public transport and emergency vehicles

“Within two months offences reduce by 90% and after several weeks the number of fines has fallen from 100 to 15 a month.”

The city started on three streets and extended it to 15 last year, issuing 4,606 €35 fines. Estrosi said double parking had stopped completely on the first three sites.

Marseille will start its effort by November to target drivers delaying public transport, blocking traffic or causing danger to other users. Its 53 cameras will rise to 1,000 during 2013 and it is hiring 100 extra municipal police.

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