The double sanction of a fine and a points deduction for minor speeding offences is to be scrapped in France, it has been confirmed.
Drivers will no longer face a points deduction for going up to 5km/h above the speed limit from next year. However, they will still incur fines, which are to stay the same.
At present, drivers incur a €135 fine plus a points deduction for driving up to 5km/h over the speed limit on roads limited at 50 km/h, or €68 plus a points deduction on roads with limits above 50 km/h.
The removal of the points deduction was announced in April 2023 and confirmed by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on October 17. The change in law will come into effect from January 1, 2024.
France’s points system is the opposite to that of the UK: you usually start with 12 points and lose them for offences, being disqualified after you lose them all.
The change in law should also ease some of the administrative burden on resident drivers with foreign licences, who are required by law to swap for a French licence if they commit an offence involving loss of points.
Under the new system, the points deduction sanction is removed, which means that swapping for a French licence will no longer be a consequence of minor speeding offences.
The application of fines and points deductions for going up to 5km/h above the speed limit can be irregular, depending on the road, state of traffic and even the mood of the officer.
In addition, speed cameras have a 5km/h tolerance (or margin for error) up to 100km/h, meaning that the small infractions they detect can only be on roads with limits above 50 km/h.
Nonetheless, the minor speeding concerned by this change in law represents 58% of all infractions detected by speed cameras, which alongside speeding, also check for 14 other offences.