New-generation radars replace cameras in France

Up to 250 new-generation speed cameras will be installed this month, with another 800 by the end of next year, to replace hundreds destroyed or damaged in gilets jaunes attacks.

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The government has blamed speeding drivers taking advantage of damaged cameras for road deaths soaring 17.9% in August.

The so-called radars tourelles are 4m tall and less easy to attack – although several were destroyed within days of being set up.

Initially, most were planned to be dummies, with cameras shifted regularly to keep drivers guessing. Using them to replace damaged units means overall radar numbers will not change.

However, they will be able to catch more offences than traditional radars.

They work across two directions, several lanes, distinguishing between cars and lorries and can catch red-light dodgers.

Once legal checks have been carried out, they will also flash drivers phoning at the wheel or not wearing seatbelts.

Sécurité Routière said tests of speed cameras in unmarked cars operated by private firms in Normandy will increase, especially in Manche.

In January, the test will be extended to Brittany, with 18 cars. It will also start soon in Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val de Loire.

Road deaths fell 8% in October. In all, 2,695 have died since January 1, one more than 2018.

See also: UK drivers caught in speed blitz, French owners escape