Speed fines slow racy Brits during France rally

9th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

LILLE, France, Jan 9 (AFP) - A group of wealthy Britons who were promised "all the infamy you can handle" during a road rally across France were tracked by police helicopters Sunday and fined for speeding when they stopped at a highway toll booth.

LILLE, France, Jan 9 (AFP) - A group of wealthy Britons who were promised "all the infamy you can handle" during a road rally across France were tracked by police helicopters Sunday and fined for speeding when they stopped at a highway toll booth.

Police said they handed out fines of EUR 90 (USD 119) each to 11 drivers who clocked at speeds of up to 175 kilometers (109 miles) an hour.

The drivers were taking part in a commercially sponsored event called the "Cannonball Run Europe Winter Challenge," which promised wealthy owners of fast cars "full-on driving on the very best roads, an up-for-it crowd and all the infamy you can handle" on their way to four-star hotels in the Val d'Isere ski resort in the French Alps.

Didier Gourves, a spokesman for the French gendarmes, said police were overwhelmed by a similar rally in September, when British drivers were clocked at more than 200 kilometers an hour on the busy toll highway from Lille to Paris.

After drivers were fined early Sunday at Saint Omer, on the highway from Calais to Reims, a police helicopter shadowed the rally as it continued toward the Alps.

British owners of high performance cars, who often find it difficult to get out of third gear on their own crowded roads, are notorious for exceeding the speed limit on France's excellent highway system, where the maximum allowed is 130 kilometers an hour on a dry day with good visibility.

Over the past year, police have installed hundreds of cameras to crack down on speed violations, which can lead to heavy fines at roadside courts.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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