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Gendarmes in French department reward good drivers

Good drivers, keep it up: Gendarmes in the Oise department (Hauts-de-France) have been stopping drivers not for bad behaviour, but to reward them for good driving with cash prizes of up to €200 each.

The operation gave out cash prizes of €100-200 for each car that was stopped, and drivers were also interviewed on the spot by the scheme partner, Radio Mercure.

During the operation, 80 good drivers were rewarded. Driving skills such as indicating correctly, safe lane discipline, and respecting the speed limit were all taken into account.

Julien Sailly, one of the gendarmes taking part, said: “We followed the vehicle, looking if the speed limit is being respected. We saw that the man had indeed put his indicators on, so we decided to intercept him.”

Yet, the good drivers unwittingly taking part in the scheme may have had a shock, as they were initially pulled over in much the same way as one might expect after some bad driving.

One man who was pulled over by the gendarmes, said: “I was worried. I thought I must have broken the speed limit a bit.”

In fact, he was given a cash reward for good technique, and interviewed live by a radio presenter, to spread awareness of the scheme throughout the department.

The new approach to driving comes barely a week after it was announced that hundreds of new generation “speed cameras of the future” are to be installed across France by 2020.

This was seen in part as a response to the revelation that 75% of the country’s regular cameras have  been damaged since the start of the gilets jaunes protest movement and after the speed limit drop to 80 kph on certain roads.

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