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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Tags: cameras, speed

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Comment by Chris Kaley on March 7, 2012 at 14:25

Don't agree. "Speeding" as you put it is merely a contravention of an arbitrary figure.  Speed in itself is not a killer, but the reckless and experienced pursuance of it, and the exigencies of the immediate environment most certainly are.

If you drive properly in accordance with the prevailing conditions, and are aware of the stupidity of those with whom you share the road, there is no reason for speed to claim any more lives than the result of being struck by lightning.

I am far more concerned by the presence on French roads of inexperienced drivers, many old folk who can neither see nor drive properly, youngsters who don't care, and in general those who think that by driving within a few feet of your rear bumper they can survive a sudden application of your brakes.

Not speed, but lack of cognisance and driving attitude are the enemies.

Comment by Ian SMITH on March 7, 2012 at 14:23

I think cameras are bad because they don't deal with the problem.  Accidents are caused by inappropriate speed, not by speed per se.  A policeman who takes the conditions into account and then advises people on dangerous speeding will (I think) be far more effective.  You can be well inside the speed limit and yet the speed is inappropriate, just as you can be way above the limit and be safe.  It depends, and cameras can't distinguish nor ram home a message.

Of course here it doesn't help that the gendarmes only seem to want to catch people speeding in nice dry sunny conditions.  :-)

Comment by Shelley Sauvignet on March 7, 2012 at 14:17

A good thing too in my opinion. If I had my way there'd be far more cameras. It's about time people started to realise that speeding is simply unacceptable and causes death and destruction, there are no excuses. (Although I do agree that in some city areas the signage and frequent changing of limits needs some serious looking at). My French family are divided on the subject, clearly some of the old guard still think the speed limits are there to annoy people and claim not to always know what speed they are doing...my response being that if you are not aware, you possibly shouldn't be driving! (went down a treat). Personally I'm fed up of being overtaken by morons when I'm already doing the speed limit, often only to find that their haste is just to get to the Bar or Supemarché! Long live the flash, put the fines up and ban frequent offenders for life. There, rant over ;)

Comment by Chris Kaley on March 7, 2012 at 14:13

Each to their own, but the type of sign I described is specific to the location and for the purpose, and not just there to distract you.

Also, in these enlightened days where the French have decided that it 's prudent (and of more revenue benefit) to remove the warning signs prior to a speed camera, the 'radar' won't slow you down, as you won't ordinarily be aware of its presence  and you often won't even know that you have been "clocked" until the demand for the fine drops on your doormat.  I can't see for the life of me how that would have affected your driving at the time, and though it may retrospectively be expensive (and make you more aware of your speed for a little while in the future), if you were going to have been involved in a safety-related incident, you would have been anyway, regardless of the presence of a speed camera about which you knew nothing.

Comment by Steve YATES on March 7, 2012 at 14:05

@Louis. Money from the tolls go to the private companies that build/operate the motorways not the state.

@Chris. Personally I find a radar far more effective at slowing me down than a flashing sign because there are too many of those illuminated when there is no apparent risk/danger and that lead to a  "Boy crying Wolf" scenario.  Losing 4 points for missing a Stop sign has made me far more attentive.

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.

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