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Poppy's father

French Fixed charge for alledged speeding

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Good morning

 

I have owned a house in France for 20 years and drive in France with my UK registered vehicle 20+ times a year.

I do not make a habit of breaking the speed limits, but have always believed that there is no mechanism in place for pursuing UK motorists back to UK.

Of course if you are stopped and fined in France you pay or if in a hire car it is likely that the rental company will take the charge from your deposit.

 

I was very surprised to receive last week a document entitled "Payment Notice" all in English but on what appears to be French official letter. 

The alleged offence being recorded at 88Km/h in an 80 restricted zone.

 

The location and date time fits my journey on the day in question.

The date in question was 15 November 2018.

The vehicle reg number was mine and car identified correctly on make model and colour.

 

Anyone have any ideas if the French are now able to catch up with us and what jurisdiction do they have if any, or is it a clever [problem]?

 

thanks

 

 

 

 

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Hi.

 

Are you able to post an anonymised version of the letter for us to see please? It could help us decide if it's a sc@m or not.

 

Out of interest, were you on a road that had a 90 kph limit until July last year, I think it was, and then reduced to the national speed limit for a lot of roads of 80 kph?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I will copy and redact and get posted,

I am sure that it was a 90Kmh limit previously and I have to say not at all sure the limit is posted now.

I am going that way next week so will check.

 

I do travel the road twice a month as was surprised I recall when I saw a flash.

 

Here are two of the docs, the 3rd is an exemption request form

 

many thanks

CCF23042019_00000.jpg

CCF23042019_00001.jpg

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If it's a [problem], it appears to be a very clever one - no obvious spelling or grammar mistakes, addresses etc appear to be genuine, even the typeface appears to be the same as any other official French notice. 

 

I presume it was sent to your UK address implying DVLA have provided it to the French authorities. Like you, I had no idea they could do that.

 

A thought

- is it possible that they've got your address from a previous 'incident'?

Making no admissions whatsoever,

 

I know they copy every detail from your licence etc if you're stopped and if I were the French government,

it would make sense to me to enter all those details in a database in case of repeat offences.

 

Moving into conspiracy theory territory, the ferry company has your registration number and your address .....

 

I'm sure I would have heard if they were finally able to access DVLA data and I haven't.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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I got a similar one of them over 10 years ago and ignored it.

Never heard anything but maybe i'm wanted in france.

I shall never set foot there again.

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Posted (edited)

Presumably it's as a result of this change in the law in May 2017. The DVLA now supplies Keeper information to France (and other EU countries) to allow cross-border enforcement of motoring fines for 8 specific offences, one of which is Speeding.

 

https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/news/motoring-news/what-is-the-eu-cross-border-enforcement-directive/

 

In the Great Brexit Debate I'm surprised no-one has asked what happens about cross-border enforcement once we leave the EU!

Edited by Ethel Street

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Don't you know?

We'll survive for a few weeks on whatever we have here then we'll all starve to death.

Nothing will come in, nothing will go out.

Brexit Apocalypse...

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Ha! Is that all King?

I've heard that the government is expecting the country to be overrun with flesh-eating zombies.

But that's not the worst of it.

In the midst of the disintegration of British society DCAs will still be roaming the country collecting unpaid French speeding fines. 😀

 

Back to OP's problem.

 

It looks like it's a genuine French equivalent of a Fixed Penalty Notice for Speeding but OP could ask the French Embassy to confirm it is genuine and not a s cam.

 

Since 2017 France has been able to get details of the Registered Keeper from the DVLA so that it can serve an FPN.

It appears that in France the Registered Keeper is legally liable to pay the FPN so issues about identifying the driver do not arise. Although the good news (?) is that means that points cannot be put on the Keeper or Driver's licences. 

 

What's less clear is what happens if you ignore and don't pay the fine.

I can't find anything online that explains this,

just some rather general references to the French authorities having the power to enforce it in the UK.

But I don't know how in practice they would do that.

 

However if you return to France you might well get picked up as you enter,

which could be an issue for the OP as he has a house there and goes regularly.

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Useful input folks,

I have no known previous in France,

I do use a ferry company but they have no means of keeping records,

it will change later this year with the introduction of a new system.

 

I am inclined that it is a genuine letter but not sure they can do much with it as such under UK law as the driver is not declared or claimed, but the consideration I do have is that being such a frequent visitor whether or not avoidance could signal problems in the future on attempting to enter the country.

 

Ethel Street has kindly posted a useful link to the RAC advise page.

 

So really I don't know what the exact legal position is currently,

it could just be an invitation to submit a payment ?? 

any thoughts everyone

 

Poppy's Dad

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It's more than an invitation to submit payment, it's a demand for payment.

It's equivalent to a British Fixed Penalty Notice.

Identifying the driver is not required.

 

Under French law it is the Registered Keeper who is responsible (according to the RAC link).

So you are responsible and are legally liable to pay it unless you have valid grounds for appeal

(which, according to your posts, you don't).

 

If you have any doubts about it being genuine you could ask the French embassy to confirm and also call DVLA and ask if French authorities have requested your details.

 

It would be a very elaborate s cam,

for not very much money, 

considering it identifies a road and a date and time you say you were actually on and you say you remember the camera flashing as you drove by!

 

If I were you I would pay it.

I suspect that,

as you go to France so often,

there is considerable scope for getting a lot of hassle at the border or from the French police when you are there if you ignore it.

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On ‎24‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 09:44, Ethel Street said:

Under French law it is the Registered Keeper who is responsible...

 

If I were you I would pay it. I suspect that, as you go to France so often, there is considerable scope for getting a lot of hassle at the border or from the French police when you are there if you ignore it.

They are not trying to deal with it under UK law.

They are processing the matter under French law.

Like just about every other European country (bar the UK) Speeding offences in France become the liability of the vehicle's keeper.

 

If you had no intention of visiting France again you could ignore the demand and be fairly sure it would not be pursued in the UK.

 

However, in your position I would pay up because this is almost bound to catch up with you on one of your future visits.

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I totally agree that it is the future annoyance that it is best to avoid, but who was driving ? I have no idea at the time, I simply cannot recall. In the car were my wife and son also and we always share the drive if we travel together.

 

I am going that way next week so will be able to check the location and I may be able to remember.

 

Is there any issue at all in respect of the changes in speed limits introduced a while ago  does anyone know ?

 

Cheers

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If you mean the changes last July, apart from being unpopular, I think the main issue in the area that we go to is that the 90 kph signs were removed and not replaced with 80 kph or anything else. My understanding is that if the road has one lane in either direction, you have to do 80, I think different limits apply to dual carriageways.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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On ‎24‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 11:55, Poppy's father said:

 

but who was driving ? I have no idea at the time, I simply cannot recall. In the car were my wife and son also and we always share the drive if we travel together.

 

 

 

Why are you worrying about who was driving?

 

As has been posted several times,

in France the liability to pay the speeding fine is on the Registered Keeper, not the driver.

 

That's why the document you have received doesn't require you to state who was driving.

It's irrelevant who was driving.

No Points are added to the Keeper's UK licence.

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Except bottom right

'You are appealing against the offence' ,

 

Ground 2:

'Another driver was using the vehicle at the time of the offence' ,

implies you can transfer liability (at least initially)

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If it were either my wife or me driving at that time,

we both have UK and French address's so either way we could be found,

 

but our son probably could not be caught up with I believe,  

unless France has arrangements with Hong Kong,

as he lives and works there ,

in which case they may well revert to Frances keeper liability.

if it was he who was driving.

 

In any event it is a small amount, but worth investigating fully the situation

 

We will pass along that way next week, minus son, and we may remember who was driving at that point.

 

many thanks for input

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There's a website (in English) provided by the French authorities on which (amongst other things) you can review your offence file to check it is genuine and pay the fine:

 

https://www.usagers.antai.gouv.fr/demarches/saisienumeroconsultation?lang=en

 

And according to its Appeal page FAQ the only circumstances when you can name another driver is if in your appeal you can state either of these two things:

 

"I owned this vehicle at the time of the offence but:  I had freely lent it to somebody"

 

or

 

"I owned this vehicle at the time of the offence but:  I had loaned it out"

 

Neither appear relevant to your circumstances,

so looks like as Registered Keeper you are legally liable.

(I don't know what would happen if you lied and said your son from HK was driving but CAG doesn't condone lying to the police or courts, not even the French ones 😀 )

 

https://www.antai.gouv.fr/faq#11793

 

Ah, the link to the FAQ takes you to the French site only. I've screen shotted it.

 

image.png.2b12c68e1119bfc39bf3780088078c81.png

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the data will come from the DVLA,

they give it out to anyone for any reason,

unlike the Germans who will never hand over keeper details.

 

However German vehicles also carry their insurance details on the number plate (compulsory state insurance) so all you need is the reg number and you can make a claim if the driver does a runner.

 

In Spain they have a system in many towns where if you are speeding a series of smaller than usual traffic lights turns to amber and if you ignore them they go to red so you have to stop for a moment before they reset and let you on your way.

 

In this country we have motorists who tailgate ambulances through red lights.....

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There are some of these now on secondary roads through small towns in France.

 

Great system

- it ensures your fastest progress through the town is to be within the limit.

 

Also, the light hold traffic in both ways for 30 seconds or so,

during which you can feel the wrath of other drivers who are held up because of your speed.

 

Would never work in Britain

- it doesn't generate cash,

it only saves lives ! 

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