Sarkozy nixes amnesty for driving offences

25th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 25, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy broke with tradition Friday by deciding there will be no amnesty of petty driving offences to mark his election.

PARIS, May 25, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy broke with tradition Friday by deciding there will be no amnesty of petty driving offences to mark his election.

"The president has always thought it morally unjust not to apply the law. The law must apply in the same manner to all," his spokesman David Martinon said in a statement.

It has been the norm for newly-elected French presidents to waive hundreds of thousands of fines pending against motorists.

However the practice has been condemned as an encouragement to break the law, and road safety campaigners have lobbied hard for it to be stopped.

Though France's road death rate has fallen sharply since 2002, in the last few months it has begun to creep up again.

Sarkozy may still announce a presidential amnesty for other categories of minor offences or for certain prisoners.

The scope of the amnesty for motorists has steadily diminished over the years. In 1974 drink-drivers who caused non-fatal injuries in accidents were pardoned by then president Valery Giscard d'Estaing, but at Jacques Chirac's reelection in 2002 only parking offences were included.


Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

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