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nottingham

French speeding fines

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They must be very busy. I too got a ticket last week.

The payment system is very sophisticated. Switched to English as soon as I typed the numbers in.

 

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I think that's now three forum members who have been sent fines relating to last September. I have two theories as to why it's happening now but let me know if you can think of others. First, with the speed limit change that took place in July 2018, the people processing the photos are really busy as Bob suggests. Many people were caught out when the limit dropped from 90 to 80 so it may be that it's taking time to get on top of the increase and are working their way down the pile after starting with the biggest offences. However, I haven't heard anyone over here mentioning such a delay so the second reason could be the number of recently-vandalised cameras. If revenues are down and there are less photos to check right now perhaps they are going back over marginal cases from last year or cases involving international drivers that they were originally prepared to overlook as a way of boosting their income. That would be particularly attractive as (I think Paully mentioned earlier) it's unlikely that anyone will be able to contest the fines given the time that has passed and limited recollection of the circumstances. Ed. 

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Not sure that you are right there Ed. It may be more to do with recent EU legislation harmonising driving offences and third party insurance standards and enabling sharing of data.. When this topic started up I did a bit of Googling and there is a lot of stuff online suggesting that delayed fines are coming through in quantity from other countries too, Holland, Germany and Italy in particular.

If you ignore the request for payment then they whack up the amount around fivefold or so and pass it on to UK debt collection agencies to enforce so you can find somebody on your doorstep with legal permission to collect!

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What would be interesting is, if having received a rather elderly traffic offence fine (known as the offence becoming stale in UK procedures), you wrote back to the issuing authority and stated that due to the time lapse you intended to plead not guilty. You would require a state appointed interpreter for such hearing and ask them to provide, in writing, that  if their case is not proved then they will reimburse all reasonable travel costs...

   I`d put money on you not hearing from them again..

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Yes, that's one of the sources I looked at. There are case by case examples on forums. From the point of view of most other countries they target the vehicle keeper and not the driver as in the UK and there appears to be no cut off time limit for making the demand. Basically it would seem that they have you over a barrel unless you can prove that you and your car were somewhere else at the time and no doubt the onus, and expense of convincing them would be 100% down to you including finding your own translator.

Note that a similar situation occurs if you hire a car abroad in which case I Imagine that the hire company will pass your driving licence details on to the authorities.

Jacking up the fine if you don't respond no doubt makes it worthwhile for UK debt collection agencies to act on behalf of foreign authorities.

I wonder what the situation would be if Brexit takes place?

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38 minutes ago, Paully said:

You would require a state appointed interpreter for such hearing

I used to know a court interpreter in France. She said it was the defendant who had to pay her.

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2 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Note that a similar situation occurs if you hire a car abroad in which case I Imagine that the hire company will pass your driving licence details on to the authorities.

The hire company have your Credit card details and pay the fine for you.

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Quote

The hire company have your Credit card details and pay the fine for you

From your card of course but it's not just about speeding or traffic fines, if you've committed some other kind of offence things could be different.

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On 16/03/2019 at 15:38, Cabin-boy said:

I've been taking a look at the legal side of this and compared to the UK (where there appears to be a 14-day deadline for fines to be issued for a speeding offence) here in France there doesn't seem to be any limit whatsoever. On this website you can enter the reference number of the fine and check the details. 

https://www.usagers.antai.gouv.fr/demarches/saisienumeroconsultation?lang=fr

I'm still curious as to how the limit was set at 70 on a road that seems (as far as I can determine) to have a general 110 limit. Ed

I believe there may have been a roadworks section with a reduced limit - paid it now anyway - still feel 'hard done by!😕

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7 minutes ago, nottingham said:

I believe there may have been a roadworks section with a reduced limit - paid it now anyway - still feel 'hard done by!😕

That makes sense, certainly. But in that case I doubt it was a fixed radar. Anyhow, thanks to the warnings you and the others have provided, hopefully this summer people will be more cautious. 😀 Ed. 

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