Les Flics play mind games with motorists

The complete low down on France’s new secret speeding police. 

Channel dashes and Le Mans surprising omissions.

French police have developed a variety of techniques to catch motorists unawares.

French police have developed a variety of techniques for catching motorists unawares.

With dash mounted cameras and radar devices behind their number plates, a fleet of otherwise unassuming family saloons will take to French roads this month. They will be on a mission to prevent ‘excess’ speeding.

From March 15, a batch of twenty unmarked Renault Meganes – manned by two uniformed police – will patrol eighteen of the 96 Departments around the country.

A prominent transport lawyer denounced the high profile move as, ‘giving the false impression that speeds will be monitored all the time and everywhere.’

Because of the positioning of the radar detector, the police will only be able to detect speeding cars in front. From the summer that will also include cars in oncoming lanes.

Police say the move is aimed at drivers going excessively fast. There will still be a decent margin for error. Prosecutions are unlikely below 143kph (89mph). Remember, that’s a real 89mph, not 89mph as indicated on your speedo…

From later this month, the humble Renault Megane will be the most eagerly spotted on French roads.

From later this month, the humble Renault Megane will be the most eagerly spotted car on French roads.

According to The Connexion, the English language French newspaper, the Meganes will be deployed in eighteen Departments (The Local France says it’s twenty, without giving any details).

Our forensic analysis (below) is a good geography lesson and reveals at least two surprising gaps – Nord Pas de Calais, i.e. the last stretch to the ferry/ tunnel, and the A28 to Le Mans.

But this first batch of twenty cars will be joined by another 80 vehicles this year, and another two hundred in the next three years. Expect any gaps to be temporary.

The authorities say these mobile cameras save money over the traditional fixed type. Overall, police say speed cameras have reduced road deaths in France from 8,000 in 2002 to 3,645 in 2012.

Conclusion: if you spot a Megane with two burly figures in the front seats slow down. It isn’t too late until you go past.

Learn to recognise the Renault Megane from every angle.

Learn to recognise the Renault Megane from every angle.

According to The Connexion, unmarked police cars will patrol the following Departments:

Northern France
Nord (Dunkirk-Lille) and Somme (Amiens).

Around Paris
Île de France (Paris) and Oise (north of Paris); Essonne (south of Paris); Loir et Cher and Loiret (around Orleans).

West
Calvados (Caen); Loire Atlantique (Nantes) and Ille et Vilaine (Rennes).

South West
Gironde (Bordeaux); Haute Garonne (Toulouse) and Pyrénées-Orientales (Perpignan).

South East
Alpes-Maritime (Nice); Bouches du Rhône (Marseilles/ Aix) and Vaucluse (Avignon).

East
Rhônes (Lyon) and Moselle (Metz).

For an explanatory video (in French) click here. For the official source (in French) click here.

3 thoughts on “Les Flics play mind games with motorists

  1. Pingback: Daily Brief 10 June 2013 | DriveEuropeNews

  2. Pingback: Why it’s a particularly bad idea to speed in France this July and August | DriveEuropeNews

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