Motorists who fail to properly display a ticket when they leave their cars in a municipal car park could face a massive increase in fines from January 1, when local authorities take control of penalties for such offences.
Any money raised from penalties must be invested in local public transport or 'clean' travel incentives, such as electric vehicles or bike-sharing schemes. It is expected that local authorities will share a windfall of €1billion from the change in the law.
The Mairie of Lyon has already announced penalties in the city centre will be set at €60, while the cost of non-payment in the first to 11th arrondissements of Paris will jump from their current level to €50. Parking fines in Toulouse, Béziers and Le Mans will start at €30.
In Marseille, however, the mairie has decided to maintain penalties at the current level of €17, while those in Castres will fall to €10.
While fines for non-payment of parking tickets in car parks will now be handled by local authorities, illegal parking remains a criminal offence, with fines set nationally at €135.
In October, it was revealed that drivers in France waste two and a half months of their lives searching for a parking space as a survey showed the average driver spends 30 minutes a week driving around.
It is hoped that handing control to local authorities, who can tender out the monitoring of parking facilities and the issuing of tickets to private companies. The percentage of motorists paying for their parking jumped from 30% to 85% in the UK and Spain when similar measures were introduced.
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