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IT overhaul to end vehicle errors

New Interior Minister promises swift work to stop automated fines going to wrong addresses

COMPUTER systems in the Interior Ministry are to be overhauled as a matter of urgency to stop automated fines being sent to the wrong people.

Newly appointed minister Claude Guéant said that, while the IT system would be improved and all those falsely fined would have their points restored and money refunded, the government would also seek to change the law.

He stopped short of appointing an ombudsman to oversee complaints.

Such false fines can arise through fraud, a failure of motorists to update their details or delays in updating records.

One notorious case saw a farmer in the Gard receive a fine for driving 112kmh around the Rouen ringroad (some 810km away).

The vehicle in question was a 15-tonne tractor with a top speed of 25kph that had never left the farmer's village.

Currently all fines must be paid straightaway and the appeals procedure is unclear.

The Interior Minister wants to change the law to place the burden of responsibility for the vehicle and for updating documents on the buyer, not, as is now the case, the seller.

Photo:Simon Coste - Fotolia.com

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