7/8/2006France: Speeding Foreign Cars to be Impounded
New laws in France force tourists to bring large amounts of cash to pay tickets or face having their cars confiscated.
This week the French government approved a set of laws allowing the police to seize vehicles belonging to tourists caught in high-speed traps unless they pay up to 375 Euro (US $480) in fines on-the-spot. The worst penalties come with driving 50km/h (31 MPH) over the limit.
"We want to ensure equality between French road users and foreigners," French Inter-ministerial Delegate for Road safety told the London Times. "At the moment, most foreigners caught by speed cameras escape punishment."
The country has 1500 speed cameras in operation and tourists -- primarily from Germany, Spain and Britain -- account for about fifteen percent of tickets. The French government is making changes so that this revenue does not go uncollected. Foreign cars recorded by a speed camera will be logged in a national database.