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Speed cameras: true and false

TIP: Car owners can claim they were not driving without having to say who was. More advice in this article

A MOTORISTS’ association has launched a legal battle to quash hundreds of driving fines they believe were handed out in error.

40 Millions d’Automobilistes, which has 320,000 members, says the procedure to contest fines is too complicated and can be costly if it reaches court.

It is inviting anyone who feels they have been wrongly fined to get in contact.
Here are some speed camera tips:

1. There is nothing you can do about a ticket from a French speed camera.

False: You can ask to see the photo - if it is not clear or if there are two vehicles in the shot the claim should be dropped.
Often, in the case of a motorbike, identification problems may be raised such as the helmet obscuring the rider’s face and lack of a front number plate.

2. The owner of a vehicle must give the name of the driver who was flashed.

False: It is not an obligation. You can send back the requête en exonération form (to state you were not driving) while refusing to give the driver's name.

You should also send any available documents proving you could not have been driving the car in that place and time and a cheque in payment of the fine.

The money may be refunded if the proofs are accepted, otherwise you remain financially responsible but the state cannot take away points unless they prove to a court you were driving.

2. A tribunal de police can give back points (In France points are deducted not added to licences).

False: There are three ways to recuperate points: due to time elapsed, at a rate of one a year; doing a two-day course to recuperate up to four points (no more than once every two years); and by contesting the withdrawal in the tribunal administratif (which can also reverse removal of a licence).

3. I changed my British licence for a French one and it says “GB 70” on it - is this an expiry age?

False: This is just a code meaning it was swapped for a British one.
Ordinary French licences are valid for life, unlike UK ones which have to be renewed at age 70.

4. If you are a Briton living in France you must get a French licence.

False: You can swap it at your prefecture if you want to but a British licence remains valid under EU rules.

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