Couple disguise postbox as French speed camera to slow down cars

The idea is legal as the postbox is on their private property - as long as it does not start flashing passing vehicles

Stéphanie Moumon hopes that her speed camera postbox encourages drivers to slow down
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A couple in south-west France have found a novel way to slow down traffic passing outside their home - they have made their postbox look like a speed camera.

So far, they say the ruse is working and claim to have seen more careful driving since installation in late 2023.

Dangerous road 

The road’s speed limit in their village in Dordogne (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) changes almost exactly where their home - and speed camera postbox - is.

“Just before our house, the speed limit is 70 km/h and right after, it becomes 50 km/h as there is a community school in our village,” Stéphanie Moumon, a home care worker from La Douze, told The Connexion. “People do not respect the 50 km/h speed limit and drive far too fast.”

Read more: ‘New French speeding rule encourages aggressive drivers’

It is a busy road due to being in a touristy area. 

“Our 11-year old son walks along the road to get the bus to school, which is very stressful for me and my husband,” she added. “People even do illegal overtakes in the stretch outside our house.” 

The local mayor has offered his support to the couple and, according to Mrs Moumon, the ‘speed camera’ poses no problem to local residents, who know it is fake. 

A recent investigation into driving habits in the region found that 70% of drivers in Bordeaux did not respect the 30 km/h speed limit. 

“We did not do this to annoy people. We did it to make people think about their driving. Once an accident takes place, it is too late to think,” she said.

Read more: Speed camera caught out as driver escapes fine at 179km/h in France

€30 stickers 

They came up with the idea after their postman asked them to move their postbox. Its previous location required him to reach over their fence so they moved it to the top of a pillar next to their gate. 

They then realised that, with the help of stickers, they could make it look like a speed camera. 

They disguised it using stickers bought online for €30.

However, not all drivers agree with the idea.

Their first speed camera postbox was set up in November 2023 - and a month later, it was torn off its pillar and thrown in their garden. The next day it was ‘stolen’ and presumably permanently disposed of. 

The undeterred Moumons bought a replacement and, this time, bolted it to the pillar: “If they try to rip it off now, it will be very noisy and people will probably see them,” Mrs Moumon laughed. “We would buy another one in any case.”

Read more: New smaller urban speed radars begin operation around France

The stickers came from this website and, as long as the postbox is on your own private property and does not flash cars, it is legal.

Not the first fake speed camera 

In late 2023, a man in the east of France also set up a fake speed camera in his garden. 

The road outside his house in Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges (Vendée) was “well-known for speeding” according to deputy mayor David Cartron, despite many signs showing the speed limit and regular police checks. 

So, the man took matters into his own hands by making a fake speed camera on his private property. 

Some drivers thought it was dangerous, as it meant that some cars would suddenly brake after seeing the speed camera. The mayor Marie-Line Perrin acknowledged that it did lead to some drivers slowing down.