St. Amende et St. Flic


If you decide to take a road trip from Paris to visit ‘les provinces’ or the provinces as anyplace outside of Ile-de-France is called by the Parisians, you’ll want to keep an alert eye open for speed traps.

I’ve been told that a particular speed trap located between the Caen and Bayeux portion of N13 has been referred to by some as the little roadside town of St. Amende de et St. Flic i.e. St. Speeding Ticket and St. Cop. This speedtrap is so exacting that even the mayor of one of the local towns was caught. No one is above the law of the speeding ticket.

And here’s some other bad news for speeding tickets. Now, not even the handover of power to a new president can save you from paying your speeding tickets. Up until now, France had a wonderful policy of wiping the slate clean for all traffic speeders at the beginning of a new presidency. Speeding tickets were waived throughout the nation. What a magnanimous gesture.

According to recent news reports, it appears that the waiver of speeding tickets will fall by the wayside as France rushes into the ‘less kind, and less gentle’ fray, or the ‘new world disorder’. Also under discussion, are the current speedtrap signs.

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If you are driving on French autoroutes, keep your eyes open for the black and white billboards that look like your desk-top’s feed-in icon. This is alerting you that in the next couple hundred meters, you will spot a metallic box by the side of the road that will be very happy to take your picture if you exceed the supposedly posted speed limit.

(which is usually 70 kph before and after the speedtrap whereas the rest of the route ranges from 90 to 110 kph)

After serious research, it appears that there had been a drop in car accidents, and now car accidents are again on the rise. Some blame the number of people screeching on their brakes when they see the speed trap signs as the cause of more accidents. Others say that the speed trap signs are a good thing and that if they didn’t have speed trap signs, people would drive all the more faster.

Actually, I like the speed trap signs. It gives passengers (especially kids) something to do during long, boring rides. You can look for speed trap signs and then see how mad your family’s driver gets when he or she STILL manages to get his/her picture taken.