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 15, 2012 at 23:01

They can't Andy. The police would have to understand the settings for every make of GPS out there. It's hard enough for owners to use the devices with the user guide in hand let alone a poor policeman fumbling on the side of the road to find out if the speed camera warnings are switched on or off. What about cars with built-in devices. Users rarely update these because it is a chore to do so they will still have the (albeit out of date) locations onboard. I think this is more targeted at the dedicated speed trap warning devices not satnavs just as radar detectors were outlawed years ago.

Par contre, Tomtom should not be deleting content from users devices without permission. This is typical of the contempt (and I use that word advisedly) that Tomtom have for their customers. It is my decision whether I turn the warnings off or not, not Tomtom's.

Comment by Andy McNee on March 15, 2012 at 12:37

I don't know how the gendarmes are going to police it, I don't have a tom-tom, I have a Garmin, how are they going to tell at the roadside if your camera warnings are turned off or on?  there are possibly a dozen plus makes and hundreds of models. I had to scroll through 3 or 4 menus to find out how to turn mine off.

Comment by Ian SMITH on March 10, 2012 at 7:39

Correct, Steve, you need to drive at or within the posted limits, and for now there are even signs for the fixed cameras.

I'd be surprised if any of those adjust for the roads being wet.  They'd need a solid definition, and I'm not sure that one exists.

Comment by Steve YATES on March 10, 2012 at 7:36

@Shirley.   The database in his car may not have the right info so he shouldn't be relying on the GPS to decide the speed he drives at.

Did any of the "offences"  take place when it was wet and so the limits were reduced ? (Am not sure whether fixed cameras take rain into account though)

His GPS will be a better indication of his true speed than the speedometer as it's making a real time measurement.

Comment by Paul Hirsh on March 7, 2012 at 21:29
NEW TYPE OF SPEED TRAP USES INFRARED AND DOESN'T FLASH, so the cars following are not warned by seeing the car in front flashed. I received this notice about the Pont d"Aquitaine (on the Bordeaux rocade). The traps are concealed in the security barriers.

Attention depuis ce weekend installation de nouveaux radars infra rouge sur le Pont d'Aquitaine qui prennent sans flash dans les 2 sens de circulation. Ils sont dans les barrières de sécurité des 2 côtés !!!!! faites tourner svp.

Comment by Catharine Higginson on March 7, 2012 at 19:23

And don't even get me started on parents who have unrestrained toddlers lurching around in the front passenger seat...!!!

Comment by Ian SMITH on March 7, 2012 at 15:51

I lived in Germany for 18 months.  From what I understand the number of deaths on the roads there isn't higher than anywhere else.  There are maybe fewer accidents but with more serious consequences than when speeds are lower.  

One thing I can tell you, however.  Several times I did a journey from Grenoble to Dresden.  There was 120km to Geneva on French autoroutes, then 200km or so thorough Switzerland, then the rest of the 1150km in Germany.  In Switzerland the risk of accident for me was way higher than in Germany.  Why?  Because with a limit of 100 or 120 all the time you sit and gradually go to sleep.  In Germany, on the unlimited sections, I was able to go very fast and I can tell you that I was 100% concentrated on the road all the time.  I found the Swiss part far more dangerous than the German part of the trip.

Comment by Louise Clark on March 7, 2012 at 15:47

And for the record, while this little discussion has been interesting and amusing, I think we should all reconsider why we live in this amazing country for a second, and let our actions lead the way. It's a gorgeous day. Get off your computers and go drink wine in the sun peoples. Reckless driving, speeding, stop signs, blah blah blah. The same argument and discussion could be had in almost every civilised country. A decent rosé on a sunny afternoon on the Cote D'Azur? Only in France... Au revoir!

Comment by Louise Clark on March 7, 2012 at 15:44

And of Germany? A country known well for it's fast autobahns? Anyone got any feedback there? Have the cameras (and the massive increase in them) made any actual difference to road tolls? @ Steve, point taken, although I condisder getting a person's name correct (especially if you are referencing them) a common courtesy. However, with no fine needed to raise my attentivness, I will pay heed to your good point. Perhaps your fine was also unnecessary? @ Shelley, if you can't stand people's arrogance, I honestly wonder how you manage to survive in France at all! :-) Personally, I find the arrogance of someone's second hand smoke far more insulting than someone driving 10km over the 'arbitrary' speed limit. (Still with you on this Chris!)

Comment by Chris Kaley on March 7, 2012 at 14:41

That's almost as ridiculous as telling a country to reduce its average temperature by 2 degrees.  We live in daft times, governed by even dafter people.

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