French speed radars to 'subsidise' driving licences

11th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

MEAUX, France, Feb 11 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Friday his government would use money reaped from the proliferation of radar cameras to cut the cost of driving licences and offer subsidised loans for its acquisition.

MEAUX, France, Feb 11 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Friday his government would use money reaped from the proliferation of radar cameras to cut the cost of driving licences and offer subsidised loans for its acquisition.

The measure, to be implemented from July 1, would be mainly aimed at young French people, who often find the EUR 1,000-plus (USD 1,300- plus) cost of acquiring a licence prohibitive.

"We are going to reduce the cost of the driving licence, which is much too expensive today," Raffarin said as he visited a youth training centre in the Paris suburb of Meaux.

Under the changes, a learner driver would no longer be required to pay the cost in full during instruction but could instead reimburse the amount at a rate of EUR 1 per day after receiving a licence.

The state would cover the interest payments from the money raised from speeding fines through the recent spread of automatic radar cameras.

"With the radars, there is money that can be collected. This money will be spent on our youth," Raffarin said.

The European Union is slowly moving towards a standard driving licence across all its 25 member states. Currently, though each country issues its own with very different costs and criteria.

Licences issued in France, Austria, Belgium and Germany come with a hefty initial cost, but are valid for life, unlike in other EU countries where they have to be renewed periodically.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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