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Red-light radar offences up 1,500%

Traffic light dodgers caught along with seven million who picked up parking fines

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RED-LIGHT offences have soared 1,500% after the introduction of radars at traffic junctions.

The interior ministry said that the number had risen from 17,962 to 287,421 between 2009 and 2010 – with each driver liable to a fine of €135 and the loss of four points from the licence.

Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said as he announced the results of a study into driver behaviour that the rise was due to the “accelerated deployment of traffic light radars” and that the push to reduce offences would continue.

Traffic light radars – which take a picture of the vehicle and numberplate as it approaches the junction and another as it passes the red light – have been in use in France since 2004 and more are due to be rolled out.

However, road safety campaigner Chantal Perrichon, of the Ligue Contre la Violence Routière, said red lights were “not where there were most fatal accidents”. She said it was time to look at the value of red-light radars or there was a danger of having a “very, very high number of points lost” without cutting the accident rate.

Across France the number of all road offences had risen by 5% to 20.8 million. Speeding offences grew by 5.2% to 9m while the number of drink-driving offences rose 6% to 103,816.

The number of parking fines rose by 13%, with 3.9m for parking without a ticket. Another 3.2m were imposed for causing an obstruction [by parking on a pedestrian crossing, a pavement or a disabled parking space].

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