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Foreign licence swaps for minor speeding fines to end in France

But the decision has proved to be unpopular with road safety campaigners

Drivers who flout the speed limit by less than 5km/h will no longer have points deducted from licences under new rules starting on January 1, 2024 Pic: sdecoret / Shutterstock

Drivers who flout the speed limit by less than 5km/h will no longer have points deducted from licences under new rules starting on January 1, 2024. 

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said the aim is to “adapt the repressive regime for small excesses.” 

Fines will still be levied, however. 

The measure is expected to be on top of the ‘margin of error’ that is already deducted from the speed clocked by cameras (5km/h in speed zones up to 100km/h, then 5%). 

Mr Darmanin called it a “commonsense measure” but road safety campaigners fear there will be more deaths and injuries on roads as a result. 

Pierre Lagache, vice-president of La Ligue contre la violence routière, said road safety has become “a political instrument”. 

He said: “We have seen a number of backward steps: the return to 90km/h in some areas, the refusal of a contrôle technique for motorbikes, the stopping of urban speed cameras... 

Read more: MAP: See which areas of France have reinstated a 90km/h speed limit

“The government is sending a message that our road safety policy is stopping, there is nothing to worry about. You can relax.

”However, Pierre Chasseray, a leader of motoring association 40 millions d’automobilistes, welcomed the plans. 

He said: “We have been working on this with the interior minister for years. I can only celebrate.” 

In 2020, 58% of speeding tickets from automatic cameras involved excesses of less than 5km/h. 

Resident drivers with foreign licences are required by law to swap to a French licence if they commit an offence involving the loss of points, so this should no longer be necessary for small speeding fines. 

Last year, revenue from speed camera fines reached €707million – up 8% on the year before.

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