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Over 750,000 UK drivers set to be caught speeding in France

Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-08-08 10:45

Data shows 21 per cent of British motorists are not aware that France’s speed camera tolerances are lower than the UK’s

Over 750,000 UK drivers are set to be caught speeding in France this year due to a lack of understanding of the country’s speed camera tolerances.

As revealed by a previous Auto Express investigation, most police forces in the UK set their speed cameras to a threshold of ‘10 per cent plus 2mph’, meaning a speeding driver is only prosecuted if they breach the limit by that amount or more (e.g. 35mph in a 30mph zone or 79mph in a 70mph zone). According to the AA, though, French speed cameras only have a tolerance of five per cent, so a driver speeding on a motorway with a 130kph (81mph) speed limit would be prosecuted for going over 136.5kph (85mph).

Driving in France: top tips

In an AA Populus survey of 19,350 UK drivers, 21 per cent of respondents thought the French speed camera activation threshold was higher than this. Nine per cent of the total sample said they are driving through France this year, which equates to 3.7 million UK licence holders.

This means some 777,000 British drivers unknowingly set off speed cameras in France this year. Although you can’t get penalty points for a foreign driving offence, you could face a hefty fine, with French authorities having already requested 240,000 UK drivers’ details from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Association) so far in 2019.

Edmund King, president of the AA, commented: “Year in and year out, UK holidaymakers driving abroad are advised to mug up on the road laws they are visiting, but too many don’t.

“Now we know from official statistics that the French police are on a mission to chase up fines from British drivers before Brexit. Whether you’re driving in the UK or France, if you stay within the limit, you’ll keep out of trouble.”

Click here to read more about our investigation into the UK's speed camera tolerances

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