Traffic ticket in France

Old May 29th, 2013, 09:16 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 298
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Traffic ticket in France

We have been home for just under two weeks to find a traffic violation for speeding with instructions to either pay or contest the matter. It was mailed to our residence, the address likely provided bu the car rental agency. We may choose to ignore it but before making any final decisions in that regard, I wanted to canvass the experience of fellow fodorites. It is noteworthy that this alleged violation occurred within 30 minutes of our arrival.

We expect to travel to France again at some point in the future. Any thoughts from those who have had this happen before?
pirouette is offline  
Old May 29th, 2013, 09:27 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 23,816
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
It would be unwise not to pay.
kerouac is offline  
Old May 29th, 2013, 10:10 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 298
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why Kerouac?
pirouette is offline  
Old May 29th, 2013, 11:25 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,760
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Would you do this in your home country?
ribeirasacra is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 12:13 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why would you not pay it? You broke the law and got caught.

Too "moralistic"? What would happen at home if you got pulled over at home with an outstanding warrant for an unpaid ticket? If you ever plan to go back to France, think about this very practical issue.

Finally, you will be getting a charge on your credit card for providing your address to the police. That is something you cannot contest and will have to pay. You will sleep a lot more easily if you just pay it and chalk it up to rxperience.
Ackislander is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 12:40 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,958
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
I'd pay, mainly because you broke the law but also because one day the various databases will be linked up and you will have an unpaid fine sat in a Schengen country.
bilboburgler is online now  
Old May 30th, 2013, 02:53 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 567
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Several weeks after seeing a tell-tale camera flash on a French highway (and noting that suddenly all the other cars on the road had slowed down dramatically), I received a speeding ticket (and later a bill from the rental car company too for the cost of having to provide my contact information to the authorities!!!). I paid immediately (conveniently, online) because it's a VERY small world and I want to drive everywhere I go! I firmly believe one way or another they will hunt you down and torment you eternally if you don't pay and just consider it a cost of driving abroad.
abbydog is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 03:47 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you do not pay then the car hire place will then charge you with a hefty admin charge on top
alanRow is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 03:57 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 36,859
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
>>>It is noteworthy that this alleged violation occurred within 30 minutes of our arrival.<<<

Why would that be noteworthy?

The French seem more efficient than the Italians (they often take a year to mail their tickets).

Most rental car contracts have the fee listed in the contract for providing your info to the police (even in the US this is listed). It's usually 30-50€ and since they have your credit card info, it will be charged to your card.
kybourbon is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 04:16 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 210
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The same thing happened to us when we were in the Luberon last fall. We never thought we were speeding, but we must have been. Our rental car company billed us for the tickets (three!) and we paid them. The country makes a fortune on foreigners, but that's the price for driving there. Needless to say, we will be especially cautious on our next trip!
chutney is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 04:29 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,430
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
"The country makes a fortune on foreigners, but that's the price for driving there."

I'm pretty sure the cameras don't know which cars are being driven by foreigners and which are being driven by locals.
Nikki is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 04:46 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Like it or not, radar camera fines have become a big source of revenue for the French government and these cameras are everywhere. I have read that one camera at a posted speed reduction point on A10 near Tours issues around 300 tickets a day and not just to foreigners.

To increase revenues, or as the French government says to increase safety, there are strict laws against using a radar detector or even using a GPS with mapped, known radar locations. Speed limits are generally not a secret and drivers, no matter from where they come, need to known the traffic rules and obey them or risk paying for infractions.

Europcar will charge you a 25€ administrative fee per infraction for supplying the police with driver information when a rental cars is cited for speeding. The French police now sends tickets, payable on line, to the driver.

If you are innocent and can prove it, contest the charge. If you are guilty, why would you not pay? Data bases are easy to maintain and once your name, driver´s license, and passport number are flagged by the National Police, it could be an issue in the future and possibly in any EU country.
Sarastro is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 06:40 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,901
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't understand why it happening in 30 minutes is noteworthy, either, as a lot of speed cameras are on the major highways, and airports tend to be near those. Seems normal if you speed that you might get one as soon as you start speeeing.
Christina is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 07:28 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<< It is noteworthy that this alleged violation occurred within 30 minutes of our arrival.>>

No it's not.

Pay it.
StCirq is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 08:08 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,944
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with everyone else. Pay it.
sharona is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 08:41 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 298
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your replies. We will pay it because I do not want any potential complications on future trips to France. We have driven in France , Spain, Italy and Portugal over many years and this is our first ever traffic ticket for speeding. Or anything else. DH was at the wheel and does not even have any speeding violations in Canada.

We were very tired when we arrived and picked up the car. A long journey from the west coast of North America will do that. We were driving quite slowly and cautiously, or so I thought. Chalk it up to experience!
pirouette is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 08:47 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We just paid a bill to the Swiss police in Zurich or Lucerne, for a violation in March. DH has "had his picture taken" more than once in Switzerland! Yes, pay the fine.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 09:14 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<i>We were very tired when we arrived and picked up the car. </i>

You were very lucky that you only were fined for speeding. Driving after a long transatlantic flight is not a particularly shrewed strategy. Fatigue and driving on unfamiliar roads in a rental car can be a recipe for serious accidents. I would discourage anyone from attempting to drive under like conditions.
Sarastro is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 09:24 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 210
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nikki- no need to be condescending. You miss my point as well. My point is that foreigners ie; tourists) are not familiar or aware of the cameras and the strict enforcement. We "foreigners" don't realize we did anything wrong until we get home. The rental agency never warned us about traffic cameras. Would you not have to admit that "locals" are much more likely to,be aware of where the speed traps are??
chutney is offline  
Old May 30th, 2013, 09:42 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 23,816
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
It should be noted that traffic signal cameras are now spreading like wildfire throughout France and they are starting to bring in even more money than the speeding cameras since the French have an unfortunate tendancy to drive through "overripe yellow" lights. Tourists never enter into the calculations because they represent such a tiny minority of the drivers on French streets and roads.
kerouac is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -