POLICE have been told to increase “repressive” speed controls as a new “automatic” radar was installed on roadworks in Seine-et-Marne that can check up to 7,500 vehicles an hour in both directions.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve’s order to increase speed checks came as road deaths fell 5% across the country for the second month. In the early part of this year the amount of road related deaths had been rising. Mr Cazeneuve said “one month is not a year but we must continue this trend and that is why I have asked for more checks”.
The new laser radar was set up on the A6 near the péage at Fleury-en-Bière on a stretch of roadworks and can check all vehicles passing in both directions.
The main advantage of this new laser radar is that it is built into a reinforced box and has its own batteries so can be moved to a new site and installed very quickly without the usual delay of several days for calibration.
Another machine will be installed at Redon in Brittany over the next week and a total of 50 of this new type of speed radar will be in use by the end of the year.
France has been toughening up its range of anti-speed measures with Citroën Berlingos and Dacia Sandero Stepways being the latest to be fitted with a behind-the-numberplate rolling radar.
They join a fleet of several hundred Peugeot 208, 308 and Renault Méganes which aim to catch drivers speeding well in excess of the limits. In 2014 they accounted for four million of the 19million vehicles flashed.
However, driving magazine Auto Plus has questioned the real motive behind the placement of many speed cameras as its investigations have revealed that half of radars are sited in non-accident zones – and they flash more than twice as often as those in danger areas.
The magazine said drivers had been promised radars would be used to prevent accidents but it said 52% of them were not in danger zones but were used “where they could be profitable”. In all radars in danger areas flashed 4,774 times while those in non-danger areas flashed 12,000 times.