Next time you cross one of these plain looking cars driving in the same or opposite direction, you might get a nasty surprise in the mail. Already the traditional stationary speed traps cause a great deal of head-shaking and muttering when the procès verbal arrives in the mailbox, and the recent addition of unmarked radars gave way to a dismayed pursing of the French lips. Alas, there’s a new predator on the road, and it’s hungry for heedless motorists.

It used to be that mobile radars installed in a police car worked only when stationary, which made them conspicuous and give way to an informal “code de la route“; whenever you noticed oncoming traffic flashing their headlights at you, even in broad daylight, it was a sure sign that they had spotted a police vehicle ahead and friendly road warriors were trying to warn you to slow down.

The new generation of mobile radars, however, can now catch a car moving at excessive speed in any direction, either passing or coming towards the radar, even when the patrol vehicle is in motion. This allows them to completely blend in with traffic and catch drivers in flagrante delicto. completely unaware.

Le Figaro reported that twenty new radars mobiles mobiles are coming into use on Monday October 21, and an further 280 units will be in operation by late 2015.

This new type of device poses particular headaches for drivers on secondary roads where speed limits vary constantly. When driving in France always remember to reduce your speed to 50km in villages and pay attention to the 30km max speed on some stretches. The radar will have a +10km error margin so if you’re doing 39km in a 30km zone you should not be fined, but the instant you hit 40km you may get a fond letter in the mail from your faithful civil servants, but remember it’s all for our own good and the safety of French roads so smile, pay up, and ease up to on that pedal.

Get more information about driving in France.

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