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Roads: the lucrative business of minor speeding


IIt is sometimes necessary to be patient to obtain crucial information, but this finally arrived almost a year after the senator (LR) of Var Françoise Dumont asked it. She wondered very opportunely about the number of verbalizations concerning speeding less than 10 km/h. In other words, these venial and often involuntary sins which, however, the State severely represses. A fixed fine of 68 € and a withdrawal of one point on the driving license are indeed the penalties provided for speeding less than 20 km/h occurring on a lane at more than 50 km/h.

But what we did not know is that, included in these 20 km/h, are the very slight overruns which are a human variable of which we cannot claim robotic precision. However, the Ministry of the Interior in its response to the senator revealed for the first time that 58% of speeding tickets are issued for overruns of… less than 5 km/h of the maximum authorized speed! In other words, almost six out of ten speeding tickets – but is that the name they deserve – are within the thickness of the line, that is to say frankly negligible.

Zero tolerance seems to be the accepted practice, even if the measurement is corrected downwards to take account of possible radar drift. The courts also retort to the complaining drivers that if they do not want to exceed 80 km/h that they drive at 75! This is undoubtedly true, but a little more reason and flexibility in the application of the rule would avoid this mass of dissatisfied people, sanctioned at the first kilometer-hour, the only notion they retain.

Waltz of the panels

And with the 80 km/h on some lanes, the 90 on others and all the intermediate limitations due to the profile of the road, you have to be particularly vigilant to know at all times which rule to follow. Apart from a well-informed and up-to-date GPS, capable of giving this precise indication, it is impossible for even a careful driver to never make a mistake in a few tens of kilometres.

Road Safety, alas, feeds its trade with these millions of offenses which cheaply fill the coffers of the State and arouse the regular protest of associations. “This outrageous ticketing policy does absolutely nothing to improve user safety – the proof is that, despite the increase in the number of speed cameras and tickets for speeding, road deaths have not decreased any more significantly since 2013 – and ultimately only serves to replenish the coffers of the State”, estimates Pierre Chasseray, general delegate of 40 Million motorists.

Macron II: between the automobile and the car

The priority should relate to the use of the telephone while driving, the fight against narcotics and alcohol, while the attitude of road safety only arouses, according to the association, contempt and mistrust. A recommendation issued in June 2021 in a report by the Court of Auditors considered that it was essential to radically and urgently change software to reconnect with a significant and lasting drop in road fatalities, the “all-radar” policy not allowing not for a long time to achieve the objectives.