THE FIRST 20 “undetectable” mobile speed traps using unmarked police cars come into operation today in 18 departments.
These latest-generation radars are fitted to Renault Meganes and carry a radar speed detector hidden behind the numberplate and an infra-red camera on the dashboard.
They are being used on roads in Paris, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Calvados, Essonne, Gironde, Haute-Garonne , Ille-et-Vilaine, Loir-et-Cher, Loire-Atlantique, Loiret, Moselle, Nord, Oise, Pyrénées-Orientales, Rhône, Somme and Vaucluse.
Sécurité Routière says the new units are the first of 300 over the next three years and will be used “principally” to target high-speed motorists – with excessive speed blamed for 26% of road deaths in 2012, nearly 1,000 people.
For technical reasons the units are set to catch drivers overtaking the police car and speeding at more than 10% above the road’s limit – above 143kph on the bulk of motorways. In town, drivers will get speeding tickets for driving above 61kph, and 102kph on a route nationale or départementale.
Although a photograph of the speeding vehicle is taken it does not show the face of the driver and Pierre Chasseray, of drivers’ group 40 Millions d'Automobilistes said that if the driver was not identified then the car owner would have to “pay the fine but would not lose points” off their licence.
Road safety campaigner Chantal Perrichon said new technology was needed so that drivers "would respect the speed limits all the time".