Speedy diplomats steer clear of fines in France

16th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 16 (AFP) - Some 7,000 drivers including diplomats, police and government chauffeurs were caught speeding last year in France by automatic radars but escaped paying a fine, the weekly Le Canard Enchaine said Wednesday.

PARIS, March 16 (AFP) - Some 7,000 drivers including diplomats, police and government chauffeurs were caught speeding last year in France by automatic radars but escaped paying a fine, the weekly Le Canard Enchaine said Wednesday.

The computer firm Atos, tasked with processing tickets for drivers caught on radar cameras, said 6,990 drivers were not fined after speeding violations between November 2003 and November 2004, the satirical weekly revealed.

Presidential cars were caught speeding five times, while cars licensed to Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin's staff were caught four times, according to Le Canard Enchaine.

In the diplomatic corps, China earned the pole position with 155 violations, Russia placed second with 124 and Morocco earned the third spot with 95.

The speeders were spared tickets due to diplomatic immunity.

A police vehicle set the VIP speeding record at 212 kilometres (130 miles) an hour, and hundreds of other vehicles were clocked at 160 kilometres an hour, some of them in 50 kph zones, the weekly reported.

President Jacques Chirac made road safety and reducing the stubbornly high death toll on France's highways - among the worst records in Europe-- one of his priorities upon his re-election in 2002.

The centre-right government began installing automatic radars in late 2003 in an effort to crack down on driving violations.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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