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Driver caught doing 202kph was ‘just testing his car’

A driver who was caught “testing” his car’s speed on a departmental road in the Vendée is risking a fine of up to €1,500 after police stopped him at 202kph.

The driver, in this forties, was caught by the Essarts gendarmerie on motorbikes, doing the illegal speed on the D948 between La Roche-sur-Yon et Bournezeau, at around 11h20 on Saturday February 10.

His speed had reached 202kph, according to local reports, despite the road’s speed limit being 110kph.

When questioned, he said he was “testing” his BMW 5 Series car, to see how fast it could go. “I was just pushing it to a certain point,” he said.

His car was confiscated on the scene, and he now risks sanctions including a fine of up to €1,500, six points taken off his licence, along with the possibility of having his licence taken away altogether for up to three years.

The gendarmerie took the opportunity to remind drivers that speed is one of the three main causes of serious and fatal accidents in the Vendée.

The news comes just a couple of months after another driver tried to use a rather unusual excuse when stopped for speeding: a man from Toulouse who was caught driving at 112 kph in a 50kph residential zone in Occitanie, told gendarmerie in November that he was only speeding because he was “desperate for the toilet”.

Road speeds have been under the spotlight of late, with the government’s controversial plan to reduce speed limits on national roads from the current 90kph to 80kph, which it claims will save 350-400 lives per year.

And yet, motorist groups have said the change will achieve little in practice , and could actually make roads more dangerous, alleging that those who break the speed limit and drive dangerously will do so regardless.

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