Speed fine - What would you do in this case?

Today we received a fine for speeding with our caravan on 24th December (it gives the plate number of our caravan). We were nowhere near the place it states on that date, and our caravan has been on blocks for winter since September. We have the right to contest but how can we prove of the above. It seems to become cheaper and less time consuming to pay the reduced fine immediately (€45) rather than contest, pay €68 and wait for the rejection and maybe pay some extra € . We have till 26 January to accept the fine and pay the reduced rate.

What do you think?

Well done Kate and John for sticking to your guns and getting this sorted. Glad you didn't give in to the system which proved to be wrong. (again)

Glad you stuck to your guns!

End of story (I hope). I have just received a letter back from the ¨Ministère des Finances et des Comptes Publics¨ apologising for their mistake and that they consider the matter closed as far as I am concerned. Also, as I had not paid the basic fine, no points would be taken off my driving licence.

The lady of the house speaking...LOL!

Thanks Doreen ~@~@~~;

Thanks for the info Norman, but to tell you the truth, that would drive my wife crazy, that's why we don't have a GPS in our car, she hates to be told what to do, especially by a young sounding sweet voice with a Japanese accent ;-)


Actually I have a sort-of SATNAV in the car.

It checks on my speed, the gear I should be driving in, the distance from kerbs, from white lines. It advises me of any form of human life, motorised or not, approaching from the front, back sides and up to 1 km away. It points out approaching or close pedestrian, cyclists. It can detect a speed bump from 500 metres, and a hole in the road from 1km.

The only problem with it is it is impossible to switch off.

I call it Hyacinth, others call it my wife.

Okay. This is an update, just in case someone else has a similar case in future:

I have just received the ¨clichés" of what the flasher must have taken and to my big surprise the photo proves that it was not my trailer that was involved in exceeding the speed limit, and even more shocking, it is not even my licence plate, far from it. So, I sent back the form to contest the fine (as I was still in time, I didn't pay anything) together with the ¨clichés" and the photos I took of my trailer/caravan Esterel. Someone could have spotted the mistake along the line before sending me silly things like that. Anyway, hopefully the matter will be closed.

Just to add a little humour - when this happened to me (I was driving the fine was for my husband who was in hospital) I tried to explain the situation and received the reply "As you did not send your letter by registered post we can not accept your arguement".

Good luck - fight it all the way

This doesn't help at all, but just to say it's a frequent occurrence in France. You often see on the lunchtime news stories about tractors getting parking tickets in Paris or those yoghurt pot cars (voitures sans permis) getting speeding tickets when they're limited at 50 kmph.

I think it would be better to contest it as it could happen again if the plates have been cloned.

We had a similar incident when we were accused of speeding at a time and place 50 kms from where we had just been involved in an accident. We told the authorities and were advised that if we wished to 'contest' the fine, we would need to pay something like €100 (if I recall correctly).

Those who would judged the validity of our case were - guess who? Yep those who had issued the ticket in the first place.

We paid up the €40 and at least didn't get any points deducted. I suppose I should have fought it, but in reality I suppose I had the thought of all the times I HAD been speeding and got away with it.

Told you I had an odd mind.

They clone so they won't get traced when they overspeed or ignore traffic signs, Kate (or John). A lot of them have no points left on their license...

Thanks for the link Ian

That's right, that's why I will send photos, and request a copy of what the flasher took, to compare. I do not know why someone would clone a plate number, but it is often done. The gendarme told me that it would most likely be a misreading by the person registering the flash if the photo is not clear, by sending my photos in, someone might have a closer look.

Yes, I have a neighbor who can do that, but I would like to avoid asking him.

I will at the same time request copy of what the flasher took, it is a free service that is available. In the worse case scenario I have a neighbour who can testify that the caravan had been winterised and could not possibly have left the property (I'd like to avoid asking for that), but surprisingly, the gendarme would testify (on my words) if my first attempt would fail, nice!

The caravan is registered in France. The problem with paying the fine (which I first wanted to do) is that it means that I accept the gilt, and if my licence plate has really been cloned and later this same chap has an accident involving injuries and/or casualties, I would be pursued and they might then find out that I had once been fined and accepted it, instead of reporting it, knowing very well that it was wrong. The gendarme told me that by contesting and sending photos, they might see that my caravan doesn't correspond to what their flasher took and will simple cancel the fine.


Why not pop into your local Gendarme office (with photo of caravan) and the speed ticket for a chat. Perhaps they'd advise on best approach for you. If your french isn't too good; take a french neighbour who can explain for you.