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Speeding ticket/fine from France 10 months later
xerxestheconfuse...
post Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 14:01
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We went to France last year in early September, and yesterday morning I received a letter from France dated 17/06/2019.
One letter is headed Ministere Publique with an address in Rennes Brittany - we didn't go anywhere near Brittany. It seems to indicate that I have to pay Euros 375 with a reduction to Euros 300 if I pay within 30 days. On this letter there is also a time, date and place - Vauclerc - which would indicate that I was there, because it includes my reg number and car make.

The next letter is a - Formulaire de Reclamation
Finally a letter telling me where to pay the money to.


I have no idea what to do, because I was very careful in France last year, and if I was speeding then everyone else around me was as well.

I have read some of the other posts on here, and none of the correspondence is in English and I was driving my own, UK registered vehicle at the time.
This seems an awful lot to pay for a speeding fine - my first ever in France in 21 years of driving there.


Any advice on what to do next would be welcomed.
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post Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 14:01
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cp8759
post Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 16:53
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The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that you must receive correspondence in your own language, indeed we are told many French fines are now sent out in English to UK residents. It might be that this one slipped through the net, but in any event it can't be enforced. My suggestion would be to do nothing at all unless / until they write to you in English.

The other approach would be to write to them now asking them for the English language version.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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xerxestheconfuse...
post Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 17:52
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Thanks, I think I may write in English to the place in Rennes which sent this letter out. There is no mention of which road it happened on, although the town mentioned, suggests that I was travelling on a dual carriageway at the time, because I keep a diary and I was travelling from Colmar to Epernay on that day. I also don't know what speed I was supposed to be doing, only than it was greater than 20KPH over the limit but less than 30KPH over.
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Logician
post Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 18:59
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Byddwn yn gofyn, yn Gymraeg, eu bod yn ysgrifennu atoch yn Gymraeg

(I would request, in Welsh, that they write to you in Welsh)

It would be interesting to see if you could make them jump through that hoop, would they have the nous to use Google translate, as I did, I wonder


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Fredd
post Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 19:02
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QUOTE (Logician @ Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 19:59) *
(I would request, in Welsh, that they write to you in Welsh)

Unfortunately, Welsh isn't an official EU language.


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Logician
post Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 19:05
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QUOTE (Fredd @ Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 20:02) *
QUOTE (Logician @ Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 19:59) *
(I would request, in Welsh, that they write to you in Welsh)
Unfortunately, Welsh isn't an official EU language.


Does that matter? If it is a European Court of Human Rights ruling, that has nothing to do with the EU, but the European Convention on Human Rights



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roythebus
post Tue, 9 Jul 2019 - 07:27
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As per my case, (see separate thread) I got notice of a speeding violation from September last year some time in February. Even the English version was difficult for me to understand what exactly they wanted. the second letter received lst week was all in French which I can't understand as I only have very basic French.

I intend to return this to them asking for a translation. the fine has now gone up to about 130euro if paid within 28 days so it would seem. I travel in France about 6 times a year so don't really need aggro from le flick.

This post has been edited by roythebus: Tue, 9 Jul 2019 - 07:28
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cp8759
post Tue, 9 Jul 2019 - 11:45
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QUOTE (Logician @ Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 20:05) *
QUOTE (Fredd @ Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 20:02) *
QUOTE (Logician @ Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 19:59) *
(I would request, in Welsh, that they write to you in Welsh)
Unfortunately, Welsh isn't an official EU language.


Does that matter? If it is a European Court of Human Rights ruling, that has nothing to do with the EU, but the European Convention on Human Rights

It does not, Article 6 says:

Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:
(a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;


If the OP understands Welsh and English, he can request a copy in either language. The problem is that if they reply with an English copy, the French will have discharged their obligations, as English is obviously a language he understands.

On the other hand, if they get a response in Welsh they might put it in the "too much hassle" pile.


--------------------
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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baroudeur
post Tue, 9 Jul 2019 - 16:14
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QUOTE (xerxestheconfused @ Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 18:52) *
Thanks, I think I may write in English to the place in Rennes which sent this letter out. There is no mention of which road it happened on, although the town mentioned, suggests that I was travelling on a dual carriageway at the time, because I keep a diary and I was travelling from Colmar to Epernay on that day. I also don't know what speed I was supposed to be doing, only than it was greater than 20KPH over the limit but less than 30KPH over.


Rennes is the town where ALL French motoring offences are processed through the central office ANTAI.

The link below explains what the French forms mean. Any follow up will be in English as they now appear to be processing in the language of the vehicle's registration.

ANTAI- you've received a notice
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baroudeur
post Tue, 9 Jul 2019 - 16:24
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Mon, 8 Jul 2019 - 17:53) *
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that you must receive correspondence in your own language, indeed we are told many French fines are now sent out in English to UK residents. It might be that this one slipped through the net, but in any event it can't be enforced. My suggestion would be to do nothing at all unless / until they write to you in English.

The other approach would be to write to them now asking them for the English language version.



"This one" is advising of an increased penalty because the original hasn't been paid.

The French may well have more in the pipeline regarding foreign driver's penalties if they are now issuing them in English.
Perhaps the human rights approach may be a bit ott as it's unlikely that anybody could afford to go that far to avoid a motoring penalty.
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xerxestheconfuse...
post Mon, 15 Jul 2019 - 11:02
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I have drafted a letter to send to the place in Rennes, stating that I want to know the exact place the incident/offence happened. I also want to know the exact speed I was travelling at because this letter was woefully short of precise details.
I don't know if any of this will do any good, but I am not prepared to pay over 300 Euros, when I know that I was being regularly passed by other vehicles on that journey.
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cp8759
post Mon, 15 Jul 2019 - 19:47
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I presume you've told them you want to receive a reply in English (or Welsh)?

I would make the point that a notice in French does not comply with Article 6 of the ECHR.


--------------------
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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baroudeur
post Tue, 16 Jul 2019 - 12:22
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QUOTE (xerxestheconfused @ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 - 12:02) *
I have drafted a letter to send to the place in Rennes, stating that I want to know the exact place the incident/offence happened. I also want to know the exact speed I was travelling at because this letter was woefully short of precise details.
I don't know if any of this will do any good, but I am not prepared to pay over 300 Euros, when I know that I was being regularly passed by other vehicles on that journey.


The original Avis de Contravention would have given the place to within 50 metres in the form of - road number/name - PK/PR (which is the marker post number) - the direction of travel and the name of the commune.

You haven't posted whatever correspondence you have received So it's not known exactly what it states, so posting it up will help.

There was the opportunity to challenge the penalty in writing when the first notice was issued which would have required a deposit of the €45 penalty amount with the challenge. As you have not paid or challenged you are liable for the 'amende forfaitaire majorée' (the maximum penalty} which, presumably, is what you now have.

You can still apply for the camera photo by writing (in English) with the details of the penalty to:

Service Demande Photos,
CS41101
35911 RENNES
France

Regardless of the question of language the French process will carry on and a ghost record will be started. In the event that payment is not made there remains a slight risk of being stopped during any future visits.

Edit: You can still challenge up to the date given if you wish but you will need to deposit the full penalty being requested in order to do so.

This post has been edited by baroudeur: Tue, 16 Jul 2019 - 12:33
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xerxestheconfuse...
post Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 11:41
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"There was the opportunity to challenge the penalty in writing when the first notice was issued which would have required a deposit of the €45 penalty amount with the challenge. As you have not paid or challenged you are liable for the 'amende forfaitaire majorée' (the maximum penalty} which, presumably, is what you now have."

I don't think you understand, this is all I have. A bunch of papers in French, with no precise details of the speed I was doing, or the location of the speed camera. The fact that 10 months after my holiday, the French are chasing me for 375 Euros or 300 Euros if I pay within 30 days, has really hacked me off.
If they had fined me 45 Euros I would have paid it without hesitation.
Anyway the letter has been sent and I have asked them to reply in English and supply me with more details.
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 11:50
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Did you make it clear this was the first and ONLY notice you have?
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xerxestheconfuse...
post Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 14:36
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QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 12:50) *
Did you make it clear this was the first and ONLY notice you have?


No, I didn't because I have never been ticketed in France before. My only speeding offence in Europe, was from Austria a couple of years ago, marginally over a 30kph limit. The fine was around 40 Euros and I paid it immediately by Western Union transfer.
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baroudeur
post Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 16:01
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QUOTE (xerxestheconfused @ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 12:41) *
"There was the opportunity to challenge the penalty in writing when the first notice was issued which would have required a deposit of the €45 penalty amount with the challenge. As you have not paid or challenged you are liable for the 'amende forfaitaire majorée' (the maximum penalty} which, presumably, is what you now have."

I don't think you understand, this is all I have. A bunch of papers in French, with no precise details of the speed I was doing, or the location of the speed camera. The fact that 10 months after my holiday, the French are chasing me for 375 Euros or 300 Euros if I pay within 30 days, has really hacked me off.
If they had fined me 45 Euros I would have paid it without hesitation.
Anyway the letter has been sent and I have asked them to reply in English and supply me with more details.


It was an explanation what would have happened if you had received the original penalty notice. As you haven't posted any documents it's guesswork as to what you have received.

However, as it seems to be an "Amende Forfaitaire Majorée" halfway down on the left hand side it will state

exces de vitesse (amount over the limit)

vitesse max authorisée (posted speed limit)

date and time

type of camera

location of the offence

vehicle registration

which should enable you to know where and when it occurred.

If you have written to Rennes you will have to await their reply. It will be interesting to know how they handle someone that didn't receive the original penalty notice and compare it to the UK process.

Eventually, as it was your car you may have to pay up or ignore. As things stand, there is virtually no chance of it being pursued in the UK as, whilst it seems there is mutual recognition of penalties within EU the UK hasn't nominated an official body to handle such claims.
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mdann52
post Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 17:01
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Was it your car or a hire car?
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cp8759
post Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 20:39
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QUOTE (baroudeur @ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 17:01) *
Eventually, as it was your car you may have to pay up or ignore. As things stand, there is virtually no chance of it being pursued in the UK as, whilst it seems there is mutual recognition of penalties within EU the UK hasn't nominated an official body to handle such claims.

The Lord Chancellor is the nominated body for England and Wales. The fact that such penalties are rarely pursued is probably more to do with the fact that the money goes to the local court, and it doesn't get sent back to France.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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baroudeur
post Thu, 18 Jul 2019 - 10:07
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 21:39) *
QUOTE (baroudeur @ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 17:01) *
Eventually, as it was your car you may have to pay up or ignore. As things stand, there is virtually no chance of it being pursued in the UK as, whilst it seems there is mutual recognition of penalties within EU the UK hasn't nominated an official body to handle such claims.

The Lord Chancellor is the nominated body for England and Wales. The fact that such penalties are rarely pursued is probably more to do with the fact that the money goes to the local court, and it doesn't get sent back to France.


The Lord Chancellor's Department is the nominated authority but would outstanding penalties be sent directly to his department for processing or to an official body set up for such matters?

On the other hand, if a penalty is not being returned to the country claiming it then why start a claim? It would seem it's not in the interests of either country to pursue these penalties.
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