Driver fine: Radars capture more motoring offences in France

We show the 15 driving offences that can be checked including illegal manoeuvres, seatbelt abuse and mobile phone usage

Radars – if advanced enough – can now check for a whole host of infractions
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High-tech radar cameras in France are now able to check drivers for at total of 15 offences – and much more than just speeding.

This comes after a change this July in the Code de la route which added to the list with elements such as checking that a car is not pulling a trailer which is too heavy for the vehicle, or checking for people driving on the wrong side of the road.

Although not all radars can check for all offences – offences such as vehicle combinations being overweight can only be captured by the newest technology – reaction towards the trend to add more and more elements that cameras can capture has been mixed.

Some say this will improve road safety and reduce the likelihood of accidents while others see it as too invasive.

What are the latest rules?

Alongside checking for speeding offences, there are 14 other laws for which radars are currently allowed to check.

The list below covers 15 offences radars can generate penalties for:

  • If the driver and / or passengers are not wearing seatbelts
  • If the driver is using a mobile phone
  • If the vehicle is using a lane or carriageway reserved for other vehicles (e.g. a car with one person inside using a carpooling lane)
  • If the vehicle is driving on the hard shoulder
  • If the vehicle is not observing a safe distance from other vehicles
  • If the vehicle crosses solid lines on the ground (which indicate they cannot be driven over)
  • If the vehicle crosses a red light / any stop signs
  • If the vehicle exceeds a speed limit
  • If the vehicle overtakes another one illegally
  • If the vehicle illegally enters an intersection or the space between two stop lines
  • If the driver of a motorcycle is not wearing a helmet
  • If the vehicle is breaking noise pollution levels
  • If the vehicle is breaking weight restrictions
  • If the vehicle does not have valid insurance
  • If the vehicle is driving at a normal speed along the wrong side of the road (ie. not while legitimately overtaking)

No single radar camera deployed in France is currently capable of checking all the 15 offences above – multiple machines would need to be used to do this.

Many radars are still only equipped to check for speeding offences.

However as they become more advanced radars will be able to capture more offences relating to the data they can record, and the legal powers for fines to be issued for the reasons listed above have already been granted.

In the UK radars that can view inside a car for such information are currently being trialled, and have captured over 4,000 offences in England alone.

Read more: Private radar cars on rise in France, see where plus current locations

Mixed opinions on the change

French drivers are firmly in two camps over the trend.

For some, it is a step forward to preventing potential accidents – and holding drivers who break the rules accountable.

The move “could be a step forward for road safety,” said one driver to French media outlet TF1.

Another said they support the move as “it will reduce the number of deaths on the roads.”

“If you drive carefully you have nothing to worry about, whether there's a speed camera or not,” said a younger driver.

Others, however, felt the rules were becoming too restrictive: “People are being tracked more and more,” said another young driver.

“Next they will be checking our cholesterol levels at the same time,” joked one pensioner.

“It will be a nightmare, we are going to be fined non-stop,” another said.

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