coche radar

Do you know how to identify a car with a speed radar on the French roads? Probably not, because, since 2018, it is impossible. That year, the French country introduced a change to its roads that, since then, has become more and more popular: private cars with built-in speed radars.

In France they are known as radar cars (radar voiture). These vehicles incorporate cameras, radars and other measurement tools to monitor the speed of the drivers with whom they share the road. At first glance they are normal cars, indistinguishable from those that any private individual would drive, discreet and impossible to identify, precisely so as not to make their presence obvious.

radar móvil exterior

In France, anyone can issue fines if they know how to

Until last year, the system governing this type of vehicle consisted of French traffic authorities subcontracting drivers to private companies. Thus, a driver who worked for a company drove a car with a radar installed, representing the French Administration. Now, in France they have introduced a novelty: from January 2024 anyone can request permission to install a speed measurement system in their vehicle and issue fines. At the moment, in France, all drivers who want to carry a radar on board must meet a single requirement: to have at least 10 of the 12 points on their driving license.

Furthermore, to avoid conflicts, cars with radars do not charge on the basis of the number of violations detected or the number of fines imposed as a result of their activity, but rather depending on the kilometers traveled with the radar in operation. Controlling the speed of other drivers in France is also relatively lucrative. Drivers who have one of these systems on board can earn around €1,500 per month for the service. Of course, the vehicles also have a maximum annual number of fines that can be issued as a result of their operation and which is set at €194,000.

More than €70 million in fines

radar de carretera

And in case anyone was wondering, yes, these vehicles also have to follow the speed limit; in fact, it is recommended that they circulate a little below so that their measurements are more reliable. As if that were not enough, as the French authorities remind us, driving slowly to tempt other vehicles to accelerate and overtake radar cars is punishable by a fine of up to €1,000.

If at the end of 2022 the total number of vehicles of this type circulating in France was 223, at this time that figure has already doubled, and in January 2024 there are already more than 450.

In France, radar cars can be found in Normandy, Brittany, the Loire region, Grand Est, Upper France Burgundy-Franche-Comté, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Occitanie, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Corsica, and New Aquitaine. France is one of the strictest countries in terms of road speed control in the European Union. In 2021, these cars were responsible for identifying more than half a million speeding violations and contributed to collecting more than €76 million in fines.

For now, France is the only country that has resorted to this system. Because, in some cases, the implementation of a system that seeks to undertake functions specific to public administrations through private resources is, at the very least, controversial. In the case of Spain, for example, the validity of a fine imposed by a private company or by a private operator could be disputed.

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