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Nord turns to video to catch driving offenders

Local authorities in the department are increasingly turning to video evidence to issue tickets

Local authorities in the Nord are increasingly using video evidence to issue tickets for motoring offences.

La Madeleine, a suburb of Lille, has followed in the footsteps of nearby Loos and decided the evidence of the town's 65 CCTV cameras is enough to issue penalty notices for motorists who flout the law.

Two more Nord authorities - Tourcoing and Roubaix - are about to update their already-existing systems so they not only target illegal parking, but also motorists caught on camera using their phones while driving, using bus lanes, or ignoring red lights.

Under the new system, an official at the camera monitoring centre can authorise the issuing of a ticket if a motorist is spotted committing an offence and the vehicle's registration plate is legible.

Equally, officers on the street can request confirmation from the centre if they spot an offence but cannot immediately identify the vehicle's plate or person breaking the law.

Authorities in La Madeleine are planning to install another 15 CCTV cameras by 2020.

In 2008, the Var town of Draguignan became the first in France to use camera evidence to fine motorists for double-parking in the town centre. Cannes followed suit a year later, and Nice in 2010. Since then, numerous local authorities have joined the hi-tech trend - including Istres, Nîmes, Chartres, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille and Paris.

A full list of towns and cities that use what is known in French as as video verbalisation is available here

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