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French speed cameras collect €859million in fines in 2021

A driving association claims that 58% of fines relate to speeds less than 5km/h above the limit, accusing the government of simply ‘replenishing its coffers’

Speed cameras in France handed out €859million in fines in 2021 Pic: sdecoret / Shutterstock

Drivers in France paid €859million in speed camera fines in 2021, with 58% of offences involving speeds less than 5km/h above the limit, a national motorist group has claimed.

A further €850million was collected in fines handed out by police carrying out random checks on France’s roads. 

The figures come from the government and were given as part of its projet de loi de finances pour 2023 budget.

Read also: Healthcare, climate, cigarettes: France announces its 2023 budget

The amount of money received by the state through speeding fines had fallen over the three years preceding 2021 but has now risen again.

Of the €859million in speed camera fines, €655million came from initially fine notices and a further €204million from penalties increased due to non-payment, for example. 

The €859million has been put towards road maintenance and local road safety operations, with €273million being invested in repairing and improving infrastructures, €145million to safety schemes and €316million to the upkeep of existing cameras and the installation of new ones. 

France’s government has stated that road safety cost the state €3.7billion in 2021, and that the 53,540 accidents which occurred in that year cost €46.3billion.

Motoring association 40 millions d’automobilistes claims that 58% of speeding fines handed out relate to instances in which drivers were travelling at less than 5km/h above the speed limit. 

It also states that in 2020, 95% of speeding incidents involved speeds of 20km/h or less above the limit.

“They are not punishing reckless drivers, but rather the average person. No doubt that is you,” the association said. 

This comes as road safety organisation Sécurité routière has announced that there will be 5,600 speed cameras operating in France by the end of 2023. 

Read more: Record 5,600 speed cameras to be operating in France by 2023

40 millions d’automobilistes has said that “despite the multiplication in the number of speed cameras and speeding fines, road death numbers have not fallen significantly since 2013,” and that driving offence revenues “only serve to replenish the state coffers.” 

However, the Observatoire national interministériel de la sécurité routière has released figures to suggest that road deaths have been declining gradually for the last few years. 

It states that 262 people died on French roads in September 2022, compared to 276 in September 2021 and 310 in September 2019.

This is despite the fact that traffic increased by 5% between September 2021 and 2022 as a result of Covid restrictions being lifted.

The total number of accidents also fell from 5,450 in September 2021 to 4,666 in September 2022.

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