Traffic ticket

Sep 28th, 2012, 06:40 AM
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Traffic ticket

Despite my slow driving in France, attempting to adhere to every speed limit sign (and hence incurring honks, bird-flips, scowls, etc from trailing drivers), upon our return to the USA we found a speeding ticket in the pile of mail awaiting us.

What a model of efficiency!! Infraction occured on the 17th, they check with the rental company, mail the ticket on the 21st. If only everything else were that efficient. Like, couldn't they print the form in English so I wouldn't have to guess at its meaning?

106 km in a 90 km zone. 45 euros = ~ $60 If it was where I think it was, the camera was just inside the 90 km sign, at a point where I belatedly had jammed on the brakes to slow down to 90, but apparently too belatedly.

I could just ignore it, but the future ramifications might dictate otherwise.
tomboy is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 07:24 AM
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Be happy it's $60. Here a regular parking ticket is $100 and the price of a moving violation isn't to be thought about.

If they tracked you via the rental agency they can get your credit card info. Better pay now than wait until it accumulates non-payment penalties.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 07:49 AM
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You can ignore it or pay it; one way your conscience will be clear; the other, who knows?
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 08:14 AM
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Usually the only notice one receives of a speeding ticket is a mysterious 20€ administration charge from the rental company levied for passing information along to the National Police that the car was a rental. Case closed.

This is the first time I have heard of someone actually receiving the ticket.

The speed limit, by default, on any country road (D or N) is 90km unless it's posted lower. There may or may not be any sign specifying 90km but it's still the maximum speed. The only time vehicles might exceed 90km is on a divide highway.

Curious that you were travelling 106km. Maybe you should pay it.
Sarastro is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 08:51 AM
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Same here.

And why on earth would you think they should print the ticket in English? Does your state print tickets in foreign languages when they send them overseas?
StCirq is online now  
Sep 28th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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Actually I thought I've read numerous reports here of people who returned to the US and received traffic tickets. No?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 09:52 AM
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Europcar has charged me 25€ for the two speeding tickets that I received. One was for the 45€ infraction on the autoroute with about the same speeds reported by tomboy, but the last one for was 90€ for going 52 km/h in a 50 km/h zone. The lower the speed limit, the higher the fine.

And it takes a year for me to get back the point that I lost from my licence.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 28th, 2012, 09:54 AM
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Neo, I think those reports are from people returning from Italy who have violated the ZTL rules.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 28th, 2012, 10:21 AM
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kerouac - did you not pay the fine because you have a French drivers' license? The OP is from the USA, no French or EU drivers' license, and no jurisdiction for action by the French police.

I have never heard, up to now, of a US licensed driver operating a rental car in France, receiving a speeding violation, and subsequently being sent a fine to a US address.
Sarastro is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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If you go down the "good citizen" route you should pay.

However, as it was in French and you only were able to get the gist of its meaning (i.e. not read the full Ts and Cs) you could just not pay and plead ignorance if it ever came back to bite you...

If it were me, though, I'd probably pay...not because I think I'm necessarily a good citizen but just thanks to good lady fear
Bianca_P is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 10:48 AM
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In olden times, I ignored a speeding and parking ticket from California and parking tickets from Belgium and Switzerland. Probably, I could still ignore new tickets from California, but in Europe all of the countries are signing reciprocal agreements now to enforce fines from the other countries.

And of course, if the rental company charges a service fee, it is deducted automatically because you agreed that they could do so when you signed the rental contract.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 28th, 2012, 04:25 PM
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As Dukey1 suggests, I think I'll just pay and have a clear conscience. I'll just think of it as my contribution to the European bailout. Or maybe as a reward to France for being ...

It's mildly amusing to me that the French administration got their bill printed and across the ocean, while Europcar hasn't (yet) posted to VISA the $25 administrative charge for squealing on me to the FrenchFeds.
tomboy is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 05:33 PM
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Just wondering tomboy but, how are you going to pay them? Maybe they accept credit cards, the National Police can be very progressive on some subjects, such as radar cameras and accounts receivable.

Typically, you can settle up by purchasing special stamps in the amount of your fine at a local tabac, attach the stamps to your notification paperwork, and drop it off at any nearby Prefecture. Just guess how I know this. That probably is not terribly convenient now that you are back home.

Of course they already have some personal information and know where you live but I don't think they will accept a personal check or money order in US dollars.

Then there is the international EFT or money order which would be a bit of a hassle to set up just to pay a ticket.

What a pain, never mind the expense. Sorry this happened to you.

I prefer the old days when all you paid was the mysterious 20€.
Sarastro is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 10:17 PM
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You can pay the fines online with Visa or Mastercard.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 29th, 2012, 02:51 AM
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Paying the fine was the least of our problems; the police take credit cards. But early in the process, the bottleneck was Avis Recouvrement (not a part of Avis). Their "avis" in the mail was the first we knew of our traffic infraction. They wanted 20 euros to provide our address to the police but they wouldn't take credit cards. I called and told them we had no way to pay except by credit card. I was concerned that by not paying them, the fine itself wouldn't reach us and we'd be scofflaws and not be able to rent a car in France again. (We didn't pay, and therefore we now avoid Avis.) The bill for the ticket arrived in the mail just before the due date, and in fact if we had been a few hours later calling our credit card company, we would have missed the deadline, France time.

I would add that I'd rather we get a ticket on the spot rather than find out a month later. Getting an early ticket encourages slower driving for the rest of the trip. Not mentioning any names.
Coquelicot is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 03:15 AM
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I got a speeding ticket in East Germany once before the reunification and believe me, I paid on the spot! (in West German marks of course)
kerouac is online now  
Sep 29th, 2012, 05:19 AM
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We just returned from France so I will bookmark this post and hope that I don't have to refer back to it.

Did we speed? I don't think so, but who knows---maybe without realizing it or not slowing down fast enough.
TPAYT is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 05:37 AM
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Tomboy, we were first notified about a speeding ticket by our rental company after our return from Germany. They, of course, charged the credit card a fee for sending us the notice. A couple days later our ticket and explanation arrived all in German. It was quite a task to get a translation of how to pay the ticket. I guess we should be happy our speeding was done in a 30km zone because our fine was only 15 euros. My husband had many email "conversations" with exceptionally helpful staff at whatever the "DMV" is called in Germany Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 08:47 AM
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Disappointed to hear "gangsta speak" such as "squealing". Society is held together by the rule of law. You broke the law, pay the fine.
bilboburgler is online now  
Oct 1st, 2012, 11:12 AM
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This is interesting. I got "flashed" in June in Italy and Switzerland - I think it was me but maybe it was the guy next to me. No tickets yet. I have a friend driving in France a couple of weeks ago, he was lost, frustrated, honking horns, drove thru a red light. Bam! Got him! He, however, speaks a passable French, apologized, said he didn't see the light, they let him go. I will definitely brush up on my French!
Shanna is offline  

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