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French Way Of Dealing With Radar Warning Devices

  Posted at 02:00:00 PM
  File under  France Safety Travel
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Travelling
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I've written a lot about the French struggles with the latest government issues about speeding (see related articles below). A few weeks ago, the government stated that they would remove all upcoming speed radar warning signs, and that all devices that listed radars, i.e. navigation equipped smartphone, GPSs with radar locations or dedicated radar location devices, would be banned.

Not only did a lot of road users come up in arms, protesting the new "safety" measures, but also many elected politicians from the ruling party objected. Motorcycle federations/associations and car drivers started, or planned, massive protest rallies. Since we're heading for the next Presidential elections, and the current President is quite unpopular, something had to give.

Radar Sign
Radar Warning Sign
Radar Warning Signs

The French government at the time installed 1,000's of digital, fully automatic, speed radars with a few hundred meters before the radar, a warning sign that you were approaching a radar zone. According to the government, this was done to slow drivers down, since the radars were installed in dangerous areas. The radars were met with grumbling, but we could accept them, more or less, because the radars were installed in zones where there had been accidents before, and people would slow down their motorcycle or car. Noble thought.

But... if they are now removing the signs warning you about a radar, does this mean that the stretch of road is no longer dangerous?

Obviously not! But now it's a question of catching you speeding, even if it's a few kilometers over the speed limit, and make you pay. So it's a double standard, and it's got nothing to do with safety, and all to do with getting more money. The zone is still dangerous, you just don't know it now.

The Minister of Interior did a step back, and said that they no longer would remove the warning signs. Then the President, through Prime Minister, stated that this is not the case, and that all warning signs would disappear, but that they would put up pedagogic radar signs as well.

Now, everyone is confused, even the government.

AlerteGPS G520
Radar Location Devices

The association of radar location devices manufacturers (AFFTAC Open link in a new window) started a big movement. There are some 8 million users of such devices (ranging form iPhone/Android smart phone, to dedicated devices such as Coyote/Inforad and GPSs like TomTom and Garmin), so this represents a powerful voting block. With the elected politicians threatening to leave the party, and 8 million dissatisfied voters, the government had to pay attention.

Last Friday, the government brought together all the actors in the speed radar location device manufacturers, and now they have found a compromise

..... the radar location devices will no longer use the word "radar" in their devices or promotional material. Instead they will just mention "danger zone".

So your TomTom or Garmin, or smartphone, will now warn you that you are approaching a "danger zone", so you need to slow down.... So when you see the word "danger zone", it just means radar...(no mention about foreign riders....)

That's the French way of dealing with the problem....

Via: Minister of Transport

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