Flashed by speed cam...can I find out for sure!

(Karen Peckham) #1

Hi…just needing a bit of advice…I think I got flashed by a speed cam in Pays de la Loire Sunday about 2 weeks ago…am quite happy to pay the bill…although I was only doing 3kph over the limit…problem is I am not chez moi at the moment as am away for 2 months and nobody has access to my letter box there (as I never get any post I didn’t bother to do a forwarding thing via La Poste!) …so I won’t get the proces verbal with the pin no. to be able to pay it online…is there any way to find out if I was actually flashed ( it might have been the bloke that was behind me that was pushing me hence I was over the limit slightly) or to get the no of the PV …eg via the gendarmerie…prefecture or tresor public??? Thanks in advance…


(Robert Hodge) #2

I’m not aware of any method of finding out for sure if you are due a ticket or not, but at only 3kph over the limit I don’t think you would be due for one anyway. Most vehicle speedometers read a bit on the fast side, so if the speedo said 83 then you would probably only have been doing 77/78 anyway.
In addition, my understanding is that for speed limits of less than 100kph, 5 kph is deducted from the figure registered by the camera, and that for speed limits above 100kph it is 5% of the registered speed that is deducted. Therefore, if you were only going at 3kph over the limit, then the statutory reduction from the speed registered by the camera should mean that you will not get a ticket.
I hope that this helps to set your mind at rest.


(Peter Goble) #3

It took almost six weeks for me to get a letter after being flashed for a speeding offence. The means to pay on-line is simple and the fine not huge. The points deducted are restored after six months if you don’t offend again during that period. The letter advising you of your being in good driver standing is also subject to some delay.


(Thomas Butterworth) #4

EU law states that speeometers have to read within 3% so upto 100 kmh they have to under this ruling deduct 3 kmh from the measured total. Most if not all speed traps have a tolerance of 5 kmh so if it went off then you will get done for the remaining 2 kmh depending if the duty jobsworth is there or its his/her collegue.


(Paul Flinders) #5

There’s a UNECE document which covers this and it is fairly complicated but the actual regulations are thus:

i.e the speedometer cannot indicate a speed slower than the true road speed but must not indicate more than 10%+4km/h over the true road speed.

Yes, speed traps are usually set a little above the actual limit in force to avoid challenges from drivers - in the UK you are allowed 2mph of wriggle room, don’t know about France.


(Mat Davies) #6

In UK the threshold used to be set at 10% +2mph.

This is the ACPO guidance:



(Paul Flinders) #7

Thanks for the table, a useful reference I think :slight_smile:

Don’t forget though that this is guidance - the offence is absolute, 1mph over the limit is breaking the law though the “device tolerance” will be taken into account (hence my 2mph figure). However there is, indeed, discretion for an officer on the scene in terms of whether to issue a ticket. I think that there is also discretion over the actual threshold for fixed and mobile cameras but I suspect most will be in line wit the table that you posted.

It was a bit of a hot topic last year when some chief constable said he’d prosecute anybody who was even 3mph over.

Edit: PS - was a bit puzzled by the reference to speedometer in the comment under the table but I think that this would be the speedo in a police car pursuing the “offender” - those are much more accurate than normal cars and regularly recalibrated1.

1] Specifically a traffic officer's car - most normal cop cars don't have calibrated speedos.

EDIT 2: There’s a lot of misunderstanding though - take the 79mph before prosecution on the motorway, allowing for the 10% + 4km/h your speedo could be reading 90 leading people to believe that there is much more tolerance than actually exists in practice.


(Mat Davies) #8

The document is quite interesting to read and it does talk of proportionality.


(Nellie Moss ) #9

For Community Roadwatch in Lancashire we go with 10% plus 2, but it is an educational initiative and we don’t prosecute


(Robert Hodge) #10

I must admit that I’m not a fan of speed cameras simply because they neither have discretion, nor do they detect any other offences. Back in the day when I was doing VASCAR speed enforcement on the M27 we never bothered with anyone doing less than 100 mph simply because we only had to wait around 10 minutes in our favourite locations before finding someone doing well over 100.
Such folks were invariably looking at their own speedo indicating around 110 and thus could not have been unaware that they were doing well over the 70 limit. That is where a prosecution is appropriate, especially when vehicle defects are also found.
For the sober guy doing 37 in a 30 limit in a well maintained vehicle because his wife is feeling poorly and he wants to get her home asap ------ well that is where the officer’s discretion comes into play.
Don’t get me wrong ---- I’m not encouraging excess speed ---- but cameras are just too arbitrary for my liking.


(Mat Davies) #11

It is interesting that we seem to be far more flexible with the expectation of the enforcement of speeding than perhaps other laws.


(Nellie Moss ) #12

One thing Community Roadwatch has taught me is you can criticise someone’s kids and they will accept it but criticise their driving…

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(Robert Hodge) #13

I think the degree of expectation of flexibility of enforcement rises in direct relation to the ‘Oh - but everybody does that’ factor. Take the issue of pilfering of pens and other office supplies from the workplace for example, which is undoubtedly theft as defined, but does anyone really expect to be prosecuted in relation to it ?


(stella wood) #14

:upside_down_face::wink::slightly_smiling_face: When I started work… we had to provide the stub of the pencil… or the empty biro… before getting a replacement from the Stationery Clerk… :zipper_mouth_face:


(carl tunnicliffe) #15

Well well… I copped a speeding fine in France!!!

First time ever and the first time in many years even here in the UK.

Flashed (apparently, although I dont recall it) by a fixed camera on the junction between one autoroute and another just outside Abbeville heading for Rouen on the 30th March just gone. Just had the paperwork through to my UK house today - quick off the mark these revenue types!

Flashed at 77kmh in a 70kmh zone…at 2am. I admit, I was pressing on somewhat beforehand (and after) so I am not going to complain.

Unlike in the UK regarding the 10% plus 2mph (or so), the point at which the fine becomes payable depends on the speed limit, the speed you were caught at and whether it was a fixed or mobile camera… In my case, as the limit was over 50kmh but less than 100kmh, and a fixed camera, they have applied a 5kmh tolerance taking my ‘measured speed’ down to 72kmh - so, in effect, I am being prosecuted for being 2kmh over the speed limit!!!

Total cost of fine? 45 euro - if I pay it within 46 days, otherwise it could go up to 180 euro if not paid within 76 days (of the date of the Notice in each case, which is the 2nd April).

Must look out for the cameras more closely in future!!!


(Mat Davies) #16

Frustrating as it is - but isn’t it the case that if you were going 2kph less at 75kph you would have avoided the fine - this is slightly different from saying you were 2koh over the limit.

It is interesting to know how they apply the tolerances.

45 euro isn’t as high as I thought it may be.

I was flashed on the downhill approach heading into Rouen near the tunnel but for some reason no fine arrived.

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(stella wood) #17

Interesting to see how they breakdown the Fine… but I had to chuckle at the way you present your case… :crazy_face:

You are being fined for driving above the speed limit… but only paying for the speed over and above the tolerance they have (kindly) allowed…

Just make sure to pay within the timescale… and all will be well… :hugs:

OH found himself in similar situation many years ago… hands-up, it’s a fair cop… but that was the one and only… :upside_down_face:

(Sadly, some folk do get the idea of “allowances” into their heads and reckon that means they can drive above the speed limit… a certain percentage…which gets them into bad habits. :zipper_mouth_face: )

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(Timothy Cole) #18

At least you knew you’d been flashed, our eldest managed to get flashed by a speed camera and then an hour later go through a red light all without knowing, her car was registered at an old address so she didn’t get the fines until they landed in our post box 18 months later by which time they’d hit 750 Euros plus 6 points off her licence.

Pay up man and stop whinging!:wink:


(stella wood) #19

Good point to highlight for folk… change the address on the CG … if not, it could prove very expensive… as well as points off the licence. :thinking:


(Nellie Moss ) #20

I am awaiting the paperwork in the Uk for being 36 mph in a 30 zone the allowance is 35 but I wasn’t a mile over the limit