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Speed camera in west France flashes drivers when not speeding

Around 100 drivers in Charente-Maritime have received fines because the camera is set to flash at the wrong speed

A speed camera in western France has started flashing cars not travelling above the speed limit Pic: Lalandrew / Shutterstock

Around 100 drivers who were travelling within the speed limit have been issued with fines because of a camera reportedly set to the wrong speed in Charente-Maritime. 

The mistakes occurred on the RD 137 between Tonnay-Charente and Saintes, Sud Ouest reports. 

A camera installed on the road at the beginning of September began to flash cars that were not going above the speed limit. 

It appears that the camera had begun to catch vehicles which were travelling at any speed above 80km/h, even though the speed limit in the area is 90km/h. 

The speed limit changes from 80km/h to 90km/h just before the camera.

Several drivers have taken to social media to complain about the loss of a licence point and €68 fine that they have wrongly received.

Read also: Six changes for drivers in France in 2023

There has been confusion over 80km/h and 90km/h speed limits in recent years. In 2018, the French government decided to reduce the limit from 90km/h to 80km/h over 400,000km of roads without a central reservation – mostly routes départementales – in an attempt to reduce the incidence rate of fatal car accidents. 

However, this provoked significant opposition and in 2019 departments were given the power to return to 90km/h if they wished, and almost half have done so, at least on a proportion of their roads.

Read more: Speed limits switch back to 90km/h on more French roads

Read also: Increase to 90km/h limit ruled illegal in north-west French department

People who have already paid the fine relating to the RD 137 to avoid it being increased but who did not break the speed limit, should be contacted by the Centre automatisé de constatation des infractions routières (CACIR) to cancel the penalty and arrange a reimbursement. 

Drivers who have not yet paid the fine and who were not travelling at above 90km/h should receive an official letter cancelling the penalty.

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