Automated speed enforcement: What the French experience can teach us.
The French authorities installed the country’s first speed cameras in November 2003 and at present some 2500 devices are in operation throughout the road and highway network. France has seen a significant decrease in the number of fatalities and injuries since the implementation of this speed enforcement programme. However, in comparison with its Australian counterparts, the French system functions differently and has its own special characteristics. An empirical analysis of this programme can yield new findings regarding the enforcement mechanism and could open up new avenues for traffic safety policy.
The first section of this article proposes a presentation of the French programme and how it is currently operated. The second section offers a detailed investigation into the deterrent effect and punishment policy, with emphasis on the specificities of the strategy followed by the French public authorities. The final section focuses on the political consequences of implementation of such a programme. This contribution highlights the insights the French ASE programme can yield for countries interested in installing such apparatus or in improving their own programmes.