Opinion: The French have a camera for it
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Driving through a picturesque forest just outside Paris this week, my passenger looked at a tree we were passing and yelled, “Slow down”.
No, there wasn’t a deer about to leap into the path of the three-door hatchback I was test-driving.
It was a point-to-point speed camera set up on a popular stretch of road favoured by cyclists, trampers, horseriders and, of course, deer.
In France for DS Week — the official launch of the premium cars formerly badged Citroen — I was testing the DS3 R with Belinda, an intern from the French car company, as my navigator.
Ahead of me was an Aussie motoring colleague who was speeding well over the 70km/h limit for the winding tree- (and speed camera) lined area.
Belinda had seen the first set of cameras in the point-to-point setup.
A camera takes a photo of the car and, a kilometre later, snaps it again, calculating your speed over the area and fining you if necessary.
As a local she was used to them but instead of lambasting them, she was complimentary about the cameras.
“This is a very popular area and it could be dangerous if you speed. You don’t know who is around the corner — a cyclist or horserider — so it’s good that they are monitoring you,” she said.
Those speed cameras were among of many spotted over the past few days I’ve spent driving around the outskirts of Paris.
With the speed limit changing from 70km/h to 90km/h then up to 130km/h, all within a few minutes on the motorway, I’m hoping that one of my souvenirs isn’t a speed ticket.