There will be 400 new cameras installed across the country in 2019, and three times’ that in 2020.
The news comes after minister for the interior Christophe Castaner confirmed that 75% of existing speed cameras in France had been destroyed or damaged since the start of the gilets jaunes protest movement and after the speed limit drop to 80 kph on certain roads.
This has cost an estimated €660 million, it was reported last week, and been linked to a 17% rise in road accident deaths in February this year.
Standing at four metres tall, the new “tower models (radars tourelles)” - whose official model name is the Mesta Fusion 2 - are deemed to be much more difficult to damage than their predecessors.
They can see across eight lanes of traffic, monitor several vehicles at once, and tell the difference between cars and heavy goods vehicles. Initially, the cameras will be set up to record speed only.
However, they also have the ability to take note of drivers or passengers who are not wearing seat belts, and pick up drivers who are using their mobile phone on the road.
They can also pick up illegal overtaking, and dangerous driving practices such as tailgating, running a red light, and driving in a prohibited lane or area.
The camera itself also has the ability to change places, to avoid drivers becoming habituated to their placement. For every operational camera, there will be four decoy options, and they can switch places without drivers realising.
The cameras are said to be almost impossible for drivers to avoid.
Several dozen of the new model have already been installed in certain areas of Strasbourg and Marseille.
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