France hires contractors to catch speeders

 

The French government is turning its speed-enforcement radar over to private contractors, starting in September, hoping to catch more speeders (for safety) and write more tickets (for budget cash).

French authorities have been under pressure to lower the death toll on the highways, and there have been frequent calls for more cameras and more cops. But despite 383 cars equipped with mobile speed cameras, there are only enough staff to average an hour a day on the road each.

The plan, after a test last year in Normandy, is to up the number of cars to 450, and to use private companies to keep them on the road an average of 8 hours a day. The contractor will patrol designated roads, using the equipment to spot and record violators; they will not be pulling cars over. Violators will be notified and fined.

There is widespread opposition to the plan; surveys show that 70-80% of those responding either believe enforcement should be left up to police, or that issuing more speeding tickets won't increase safety.

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