French speed cameras trap 4.5m foreign drivers, but will Brits pay up?

Man speeding in car

Speed cameras in France have caught foreign motorists a staggering 4.5 million times in just one year, that’s an incredible 123,287 per day or 5,139 per hour. British drivers are far from the worst offenders.

Figures obtained by TheLocal.fr show just how prolific these radars, as they’re called in French, are at catching foreign drivers who speed or drive through a red light.

The government organisation Sécurité Routière (Road Safety) released data revealing that 3.5 million foreign cars were flashed by speed cameras in 2014.

But the organisation said the overall figure is more likely to be 4.5 million given that a quarter of the offences are not recorded because registrations plates are not clearly identified – although it is certain they are from abroad.

That figure represents around 21% of the 21 million offences caught on camera on French roads throughout the year.

When it came to the most flashed offenders, the Belgians took the top spot, having been caught speeding or going through red lights a whopping 420,000 times.

Next came the Spanish who clocked up 412,000 offences, while Germans committed 411,000 and the Italians 400,000, which were all caught on camera.

As for the Brits, drivers were snared 165,000 times throughout the year, but unlike the Germans, Spanish and Belgians, the British don’t have to pay up, or at least for the moment.

A European directive dating back to 2011 allows certain EU member states to share information on drivers caught committing offences on the roads, which will be rolled out on a staggered basis.

However, Denmark, the UK and Ireland opted out of signing up to the agreement.

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