France/Speeding Tickets . . .

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France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#1 Post by patrick c albright » October 16th, 2012, 9:08 am

Low and behold, four months after arriving home, I received two speeding tickets in the mail yesterday.
One was on the A6 for 132km/h in a 110km/h zone, and the other on the A630 for 100km/h in a 70km/h zone.

Odd, as I remember being passed by other cars quite a bit.

This happen to anyone else??
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#2 Post by George Hejna » October 16th, 2012, 9:19 am

We were told they target the rental cars.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#3 Post by Barry L i p t o n » October 16th, 2012, 9:22 am

If you get a gps, it will tell you where the radar traps are.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#4 Post by Russell Faulkner » October 16th, 2012, 10:08 am

The French love catching people speed.

If you are in a non French car you get away with it, unless the police actually stop you.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#5 Post by jdietz » October 16th, 2012, 10:09 am

You could challenge them.

Why pay?
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#6 Post by brigcampbell » October 16th, 2012, 10:28 am

I got busted in Italy and they dinged me through the car rental agency...

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#7 Post by Michael Martin » October 16th, 2012, 10:44 am

I know its not the same thing, but I got a parking ticket in Italy billed back through the car rental agency to my credit card. I protested it to my card issuer and I never heard another thing about it.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#8 Post by Ramon C » October 16th, 2012, 10:58 am

My bro-in-law was photographed speeding in Spain, near Rioja in June last year. He obviously didn't know that he was speeding until the ticket was mailed to him 5 months later. I recall that the procedure for him was to first send back ticket with I'm guilty and promise to pay check marks and then he received a final bill that was substantially less than 300+ Euro fine on the original ticket.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#9 Post by Russell Faulkner » October 16th, 2012, 11:02 am

Covered under the rental agreement no doubt.

Maybe you could argue the same logic that the US embassy does in London to avoid its multi million overdue fines for the congestion charge?

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#10 Post by dcornutt » October 16th, 2012, 6:40 pm

Barry L i p t o n wrote:If you get a gps, it will tell you where the radar traps are.
Yes! This is worth the money for the GPS.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#11 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » October 16th, 2012, 6:44 pm

OK, I'll bite on the dumb question part...

How do they know/can they prove you were speeding? I assume it's a camera system with radar?
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#12 Post by patrick c albright » October 16th, 2012, 8:00 pm

My Citreon had a GPS.

Maybe I was not paying attention or understood the warning it was speaking??
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#13 Post by Xavier Lavoipierre » October 17th, 2012, 7:19 am

I, too, just received two tickets in the mail from our May trip. I'm tempted to just blow it off, but I figure they'll get me when I renew my passport (French) or reenter the country, and then add the late penalty to it. But at least the fine is far less than it would be here in California! (in case you're wondering, I've lived in the U.S. almost my entire life, but maintain my French passport) I may call the French Consulate and see what they have to say.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#14 Post by M.Kaplan » October 18th, 2012, 12:07 am

Brent C l a y t o n wrote:OK, I'll bite on the dumb question part...

How do they know/can they prove you were speeding? I assume it's a camera system with radar?
Yes. It is a remote system of radar and cameras. Excessive speed caught by the radar trips the camera. Many zones have warning signs. Garmin (and others, I assume) offers an add on software package to some of their gps models that indicates when you are entering a known camera location and warns you to slow down if you are speeding. It works and is well worth the price. I bought the version that includes updates. My wife and I have driven extensively through France and have never been caught speeding. So far...
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#15 Post by Henry Kiichli » October 18th, 2012, 1:22 am

"Police say Henry smelled of alcohol and acknowledged drinking a six-pack of Hamm’s beer with the hogs"

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#16 Post by Paul Jaouen » October 18th, 2012, 5:19 am

I don't understand how people get caught when they post signs that a camera/radar is coming up.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#17 Post by Michel Abood » October 18th, 2012, 6:14 am

Paul Jaouen wrote:I don't understand how people get caught when they post signs that a camera/radar is coming up.
+1

The moment I see those signs I pull my foot off the pedal and let others glide by me until we pass the camera zone. Of course, if you get nailed by roving patrol cars, that's a different matter (I've seen them hanging out just past the camera zones, ready to grab anyone who guns it once they pass the boxes).
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#18 Post by brigcampbell » October 18th, 2012, 6:44 am

Henry Kiichli wrote: Image

Info here:
http://english.controleradar.org/
Thought that was free Wi-Fi... No wonder .

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#19 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 18th, 2012, 8:04 am

Michel Abood wrote:
Paul Jaouen wrote:I don't understand how people get caught when they post signs that a camera/radar is coming up.
+1

The moment I see those signs I pull my foot off the pedal and let others glide by me until we pass the camera zone. Of course, if you get nailed by roving patrol cars, that's a different matter (I've seen them hanging out just past the camera zones, ready to grab anyone who guns it once they pass the boxes).
Well, they have a sign when you enter the zone, but they don't have one saying "you are leaving the zone now, so go ahead and speed up." Also, I suspect that they post a vastly greater number of signs than they have camera zones.

But yeah, I usually slow down to the ludicrous posted speed when I see the camera signs.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#20 Post by Dan.Gord0n » October 18th, 2012, 11:05 am

It is too bad - given the quality of the toll roads and how most are next to empty in the countryside, it used to be great to be able to average 80-90mph on a long trip down from Paris or pop on/off when going around the countryside.... I fear that the cameras are only the beginning there as well as here on toll roads - how easy would it be to calculate average speed when the "system" knows how far you went between getting on and off and how long it took and they have cameras at the toll booths anyway, etc.....amazed it isn't being done here yet on toll roads.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#21 Post by Paul Jaouen » October 18th, 2012, 5:59 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
Michel Abood wrote:
Paul Jaouen wrote:I don't understand how people get caught when they post signs that a camera/radar is coming up.
+1

The moment I see those signs I pull my foot off the pedal and let others glide by me until we pass the camera zone. Of course, if you get nailed by roving patrol cars, that's a different matter (I've seen them hanging out just past the camera zones, ready to grab anyone who guns it once they pass the boxes).
Well, they have a sign when you enter the zone, but they don't have one saying "you are leaving the zone now, so go ahead and speed up." Also, I suspect that they post a vastly greater number of signs than they have camera zones.

But yeah, I usually slow down to the ludicrous posted speed when I see the camera signs.
You left the zone when you see the camera which is not that long after you saw the sign.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#22 Post by geoffpm » October 22nd, 2012, 6:09 am

My adventure happened in Sienna, Italy, the day after the Palio. Although I didn't receive the notice of the ticket for 9 months. Luckily, I can read Italian and I was photographed driving through a piazza that was off limits. Not only do I not recall ever driving through any area that was verboten, I was on major streets the entire time with a lot of other cars.

After asking them to send me the photo of the car at the offending intersection and several threatening letters, I insisted that hthey provided empirical evidence of the offense. It's been 3 years now and no further correspondence.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#23 Post by Guillaume Deschamps » November 5th, 2012, 4:23 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:Well, they have a sign when you enter the zone, but they don't have one saying "you are leaving the zone now, so go ahead and speed up." Also, I suspect that they post a vastly greater number of signs than they have camera zones.
That's in Italy, where half the boxes are empty, but no such luck in France. If there's a sign, that's a guarantee there's a radar coming up. And there should be a speed sign (reminder) just after the radar sign just so you know at what speed you're supposed to go. They still catch a shitload of people with this system, though. More often than not it's due to not paying attention, or a truck hiding the sign. The radars are very precise, but european cars' meters usually show a speed 5% higher than the real speed (e.g. when I'm going 138 km/h on my car, the gps says 130-131, so that's my target for cruise control) so there's a bit of leeway if you drive "by the meter".

Given the way these radars work, you can have the impression that cars are overtaking you, for example, because everybody knows where the radars are (especially the locals). The key is to be going at the right speed for a couple of 100 meters and you're good. Of course the police also uses special binoculars to catch speeding as well, etc. It's an art...

They've also started to put "pedagogical signs" that tell you how fast you're going (and blinking red if you speed) and there tends to be a radar shortly afterwards. That's the only warning, no sign this time, only the speed indicator.

All in all it's a lot easier to determine the target speeds with the gps for each "bracket" (50, 70, 90, 110 and 130) and use cruise control. Speeding is just not worth the hassle most of the time.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#24 Post by Eric Ifune » November 5th, 2012, 9:19 am

Been caught in Germany and Italy. They mailed a photo of me as well as the posted speed and the speed I was going. I just paid. I figured I'd be back some day. Cops in Europe have much more leeway than in the states, and I wouldn't want to get busted in the head for an old speeding ticket.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#25 Post by Chad Richardson » November 5th, 2012, 9:33 am

Got snagged in Germany by two red light cameras in sequential blocks of a small town. I saw the first one flash and am convinced they were incorrectly timed and the light was still yellow. A couple months after coming home, rental agency notified me that they'd received the notices and passed my info along to the authorities (and of course charged me for their kindness in doing so). I never heard another word. So the town either assumed it was too much of a hassle, or I'm wanted in Germany for delinquent tickets.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#26 Post by Peter Kleban » November 5th, 2012, 9:59 am

Chad Richardson wrote:Got snagged in Germany by two red light cameras in sequential blocks of a small town. I saw the first one flash and am convinced they were incorrectly timed and the light was still yellow. A couple months after coming home, rental agency notified me that they'd received the notices and passed my info along to the authorities (and of course charged me for their kindness in doing so). I never heard another word. So the town either assumed it was too much of a hassle, or I'm wanted in Germany for delinquent tickets.
No doubt you're wanted. Its Germany! [snort.gif]

BTW, my son just got charged by Avis for a speeding violation in Germany (BTW, it was at night and he said the flash was so bright he couldn't see for a few seconds). Coming off an Autobahn with almost no time to slow down--or so he says [wink.gif]

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#27 Post by Peter Kleban » November 5th, 2012, 10:00 am

Brent C l a y t o n wrote:OK, I'll bite on the dumb question part...

How do they know/can they prove you were speeding? I assume it's a camera system with radar?
I think for that kind of thing in France you're guilty until proven innocent.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#28 Post by Peter Kleban » November 5th, 2012, 10:01 am

patrick c albright wrote:Low and behold, four months after arriving home, I received two speeding tickets in the mail yesterday.
One was on the A6 for 132km/h in a 110km/h zone, and the other on the A630 for 100km/h in a 70km/h zone.

Odd, as I remember being passed by other cars quite a bit.

This happen to anyone else??
Who sent the tickets? The rental agency or the French police? If the latter, you can maybe ignore it, unless you have a French passport, they may not be so efficient in tracking foreigners down.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#29 Post by Guillaume Deschamps » November 5th, 2012, 10:23 am

Peter Kleban wrote:I think for that kind of thing in France you're guilty until proven innocent.
They take pictures, be it with fixed radars or binoculars. As an owner, you can either pay the bills (and lose the points on your license), or give the name of who was driving. There are some ways for the owner not to lose the points in case the car is used by many people (the line of defense being "it was one of us, but we don't remember which one" -- works best with company cars), but ultimately the owner will always have to pay the fine, no matter what.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#30 Post by brigcampbell » November 6th, 2012, 6:21 am

IIRC, I was notified.by the rental agency that my credit card had been charged.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#31 Post by Russell Faulkner » November 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

France is especially hot on this, I once spotted five different police men with the 'hairdryer' radars in a 60km section of autoroute - on a sunday.

I think it is still the case that they can't send a UK registered car owner a bill for fines incurred in France, certainly I have not had one and I am 100% certain I have been caught a few times by fixed radars.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#32 Post by Guillaume Deschamps » November 6th, 2012, 11:44 am

The co-operation between European states is getting better and better in this regard. Fines definitely cross borders (but maybe not water) and I think they're actually looking into removing points from licences as well (the rich Swiss or Germans aren't particularly happy about this).

Of course if the car is registered in the country, it's a different matter. Even rental cars, the state usually pass the fine on to the rental agency, who then happily charges their customer's credit card... and if the person having rented the car is a national, there go the points as well.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#33 Post by Tom Moore » November 7th, 2012, 7:37 am

Was in the Loire valley last month and just received my token of appreciation in the mail. A speeding ticket, all in French, on a day when I was following my brother in law with bikes hanging out the back of our cars. Don't remember seeing any signs or police and we were driving very conservatively. He did not receive ticket. I think it is for 85 km in a 70 km. Good thing I cannot read French. Btw we rented through Auto Europe and no word yet on a cc charge.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#34 Post by Russell Faulkner » November 7th, 2012, 8:02 am

What surprises is me is how much this surprises many in the US.

Don't the police enforce your very low limits there?

The UAE is very hot on these, I have had 9 tickets since arriving.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#35 Post by brigcampbell » November 7th, 2012, 8:38 am

No, they really don't enforce, certainly not like places in Europe.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#36 Post by Russell Faulkner » November 7th, 2012, 8:51 am

Why not? Would fines issued by fixed cameras not be enforcable? Is it a state issue?

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#37 Post by Tom Moore » November 7th, 2012, 11:23 am

Russell Faulkner wrote:Why not? Would fines issued by fixed cameras not be enforcable? Is it a state issue?
They haven't adopted the camera speed traps in our area yet, but I believe they will in just a matter of time. We do have the stop light cameras but I heard rumblings that they were going away. The cops definitely write lots of tickets personally though, still ruins your day when you see the flashing lights in the rear view mirror.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#38 Post by Andrew Gelb » November 7th, 2012, 3:05 pm

I got one last year in Spain, received it in the mail a few weeks after we got home. Paid it, once I figured out how, so that I would not get detained the next time I entered that country. Fairly certain that a camera got me in Normandy a few weeks back; we'll see if I am right. Oh well.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#39 Post by Paul Jaouen » November 7th, 2012, 4:50 pm

Russell Faulkner wrote:What surprises is me is how much this surprises many in the US.

Don't the police enforce your very low limits there?

The UAE is very hot on these, I have had 9 tickets since arriving.
It wasn't as bad in the past. Local towns now are all over this as a way of increasing revenues as property tax increases have been capped (long overdue). At least that is the story in NJ.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#40 Post by PaulMills » November 8th, 2012, 12:10 pm

I received a parking ticket in Belgium a few years ago. The ticket came from the local parking police by way of the rental car company. I ignored the first few notices until they threatened to charge it to my CC with a handling fee. I finally paid the 15euro fine.

I then received what I believed to be a speeding ticket from the same trip, this one directly from the police. It was in Flemish or some other language I could not understand much of so I ignored it. That was the only notice I ever received. I figure it is not likely that I will return to Belgium any time soon so I should be safe. France or Italy would be a different issue.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#41 Post by Andrew Gelb » November 29th, 2012, 5:55 pm

Unfortunately, I was right. Two years in a row! Last year, Spain. Now France. I did get a ticket from Normandy, along with an "administrative" bill from the rental agency. Paid up and I'll try not to do it again in whatever country I find myself next year. [oops.gif]

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#42 Post by Patrick Friel » November 29th, 2012, 6:42 pm

Andrew Gelb wrote:I got one last year in Spain, received it in the mail a few weeks after we got home. Paid it, once I figured out how, so that I would not get detained the next time I entered that country.

Andrew
Same happened to me except I never figured out how to pay it. The ticket was all in Spanish as was the website. My Spanish isn't bad so I filled all the fields with info I thought they wanted and my submission was rejected. At one point I called the Spanish consulate for advice. They didn't want anything to do with it.

I will travel under an assumed name next time I'm in Spain. I've always liked "Ricardo Montalban" and he doesn't need it anymore. [snort.gif]

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#43 Post by Claude Kolm » November 29th, 2012, 6:55 pm

Last week I received a ticket in the mail for having done 57 km/hr in a small Burgundy town (50 km/hr) on the RN in the Côte de Nuits, i.e., 35.3 mph in a 31 mph zone. Beware!
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#44 Post by Scott Brunson » December 2nd, 2012, 11:09 am

Claude Kolm wrote:Last week I received a ticket in the mail for having done 57 km/hr in a small Burgundy town (50 km/hr) on the RN in the Côte de Nuits, i.e., 35.3 mph in a 31 mph zone. Beware!
OUCH
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#45 Post by Guillaume Deschamps » December 3rd, 2012, 2:16 am

Wait until you get one for driving 51km/h instead of 50. Also important to be extra careful in zones limited to 30km/h or 50km/h as the fines and sanctions are steeper.
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#46 Post by Claude Kolm » December 3rd, 2012, 8:18 am

Guillaume Deschamps wrote:Wait until you get one for driving 51km/h instead of 50. Also important to be extra careful in zones limited to 30km/h or 50km/h as the fines and sanctions are steeper.
The ticket indicated that the radar was within 2 km/h, so I'd have to go at least 53 to get a ticket there. [cheers.gif]
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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#47 Post by brigcampbell » February 5th, 2013, 9:10 am

Crap, a driving violation just showed up in the mail sent from Italy. 18 months later... Something about driving in a no traffic zone during certain hours.

Says I'm guilty until proven innocent.

How about this: I'm not paying.

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Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#48 Post by Russell Faulkner » February 5th, 2013, 10:04 am

Was it a rental, they can probably just charge your card.

Over here tickets are quite normal, I now pass 8-10 cameras on my 15 minute commute, almost all cameras give a 20kph leeway, except a few that don't, it gets tricky!

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Mont Stern
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Joined: January 28th, 2009, 10:32 am
Location: East Amherst, NY

Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#49 Post by Mont Stern » February 6th, 2013, 8:54 pm

If you don't want this to take hold in the US, join me in supporting the National Motorists Association. They were the lobby behind getting rid of the 55 MPH speed limit.
http://www.motorists.org/
http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/
http://www.motorists.org/speed-cameras/

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Paul Jaouen
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Joined: January 30th, 2009, 12:48 pm

Re: France/Speeding Tickets . . .

#50 Post by Paul Jaouen » February 7th, 2013, 5:21 am

Mont Stern wrote:If you don't want this to take hold in the US, join me in supporting the National Motorists Association. They were the lobby behind getting rid of the 55 MPH speed limit.
http://www.motorists.org/
http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/
http://www.motorists.org/speed-cameras/
Or the NRA. They can shoot the cameras.
Best,
Paul Jaouen

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