Speed Camera Blackspots in France (Guest Blog)

There were nearly 13 million speed camera offences in France last year, and newly released information shows just where motorists are being caught.

It was the speed camera installed on the A41 between Annecy and Genève near to Saint-Julien-en-Genevois (Dept 74) which was the most active in the year. The camera is located on a 50km/h speed limit road, just before the Swiss frontier. It flashed an average of 462 times per day, 29 times the national average.

The fine for exceeding the speed limit in a 50 km/h area starts at €135 (although early payment reduces the level of the fine), so this camera alone brought in €22 million in the year.

In second position with 364 flashes per day was the camera situated along the 'Quai du 4 septembre' on the RD1 in the Boulogne-Billancourt district of Paris, where again a 50 km/h speed limit is in force.

The podium was completed by the camera at Bédarrides on the A7 between Lyon and Marseille, which flashed 323 times on average per day.

The figures have been obtained from the French government by the motoring magazine Autoplus.

The departments in France with the highest number of speed camera offences were Essonne, Nord and Val-de-Marne. At the other end of the scale those departments registering the fewest number of offences were Aveyron, Dordogne and Vendée.

Of course, as the figures take no account of the amount of traffic on each of roads, it is not possible to say just how effective is each camera as a percentage of traffic that passed by it.

There are nearly 2000 fixed speed cameras on French roads, an increase of around 100% over the past four years.

Last year total revenues received by the government from speed camera offences was €630 million, of which around €100 million was late payment fines.

In total last year the government obtained €1.7 billion in revenues for traffic offence fines.

The graphic below shows the top 50 most active fixed speed cameras, the speed limit in force, and the number of times it flashed in the year.

David Yeates


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Comment by John Scully on March 7, 2012 at 13:02

Yes Chris, I think mine are gone for good though I can't see the police enforcing this. They'd have to understand how to check every manufactures device to see if the locations were present and then you could say that feature was turned off. They'd spend hours fiddling with satnavs on the side of the road. 

Comment by Louise Clark on March 7, 2012 at 12:59

All good points Chris, re: the actions of the driver post 'flash'. It's amazing that they still need to charge such high road tolls given that the road system is already producing this sort of income. Lost my positions on my Garmin some time ago when the law first changed. I think you can manually insert them once you drive past though. What about the radar detectors that are still on sale in places like Feu Vert? Illegal?

Comment by Chris Kaley on March 7, 2012 at 12:08

Didn't know that, John - mine is TomTom home, where the options are there.  With map updates, it can take six hours....

I don't think you can put them back any more, unless there's a third party hack out there, which wouldn't surprise me.

Comment by Chris Kaley on March 7, 2012 at 12:05

Steve, I don't dispute that at all, I merely suggested that there were more effective methods, like flashing "Queue Ahead" signs, which I've seen elsewhere, which work because they only flash when the danger is current, and which don't cause drivers to panic about whether or not they've bee caught by a camera, when their attention focussed on a possible situation ahead is of more relevance (and more importance).

Comment by John Scully on March 7, 2012 at 12:04

There are actually two applications for updating Tomtoms Chris. One is Tomtom HOME which is PC based and the other is web based. I've used Tomtom HOME on earlier Tomtoms and I remember one could select which countries speed cameras to load. My 1005 unfortunately has to use the web based one which seems to give much less control over what you have on your device. The removal masqueraded as an update, which I suppose it was in a way. I couldn't find any way to put them back.

Comment by Steve YATES on March 7, 2012 at 11:53

@Chris K. Perhaps if you knew that bit of motorway you would understand. The notices and the camera slow people down so that when they get round the bend and find a queue, they are going at a speed they can stop from, if they were still at 130, they wouldn't. Only solution to that problem would to have built the motorway in a different place

Comment by Chris Kaley on March 7, 2012 at 11:41

Steve Yates - how can a camera stop people from running into a queue of traffic?  There are far more expedient methods...

A camera prevents nothing.

Comment by Chris Kaley on March 7, 2012 at 11:39

TomTom doesn't automatically remove the French speed cameras - in the list of updates, there is a "Remove French Cameras" checkbox option - you don't have to check it, but if you have, then you've lost them.

Comment by John Scully on March 7, 2012 at 11:36

I updated my Tomtom satnav a couple of days ago and the French speed camera locations were removed from the device during the process. The Tomtom website stated this was due to the recent law. Tomtom customer support is poor at the best of times but I would have preferred the option to remove or keep. Now I'm flying blind :-(

Comment by Steve YATES on March 7, 2012 at 11:10

@Chris H.  The one I referred to on the A6 just before the tunnel in Lyon was put there to stop people running into the queue of traffic that is hidden from view by a bend. It's not there for raising funds.

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