top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

No penalty for driver caught at 275 km/h on French motorway

The court was forced to acquit the defendant based on a technicality

A view of a car going fast past a speed camera sign

The driver escaped sanctions due to a technical ‘loophole’ identified by their lawyer Pic: Sdecoret / Shutterstock

A man who was caught by a speed camera driving at 275 km/h on a motorway in north-west France, has escaped all charges due to a technicality.

The driver was ‘flashed’ by the camera on the A29 in Seine-Maritime (Normandy), which is limited at 130km/h, while driving from Rouen on May 20.

Normally, such an offence is punished by a fine of €1,500, a deduction of six points, confiscation of the vehicle in question, and - in some cases - up to three years suspension from driving.

But despite the excessive speed, the driver escaped condemnation in court, as his lawyer was a specialist in road and driving law. 

The lawyer based his client’s defence on a ‘loophole’ in the technical documentation of the speed camera, which states that the camera cannot - theoretically - detect speeds higher than 250 km/h.

Speaking in the Dieppe court, the lawyer said: “The measurement of 275 km/h cannot be considered reliable because it is higher than the limit specified in the [speed camera’s] technical manual.”

The 275 km/h record was therefore found to be legally invalid, nullifying the case. The court was forced to acquit the driver.

Read more: How do speeding fines work in France?

This decision has called into question the rigour and validity of speeding laws, and may lead to changes in future. 

It has also sparked a debate over the need to keep speed monitoring - and other roadside tools - up-to-date, and ensure that they keep pace with technological improvements and ever-increasing vehicle speeds and performance.

Related articles

Lower penalties for minor speeding offences confirmed in France 
How far back can I be fined for speeding in France?
Speeding fines, older drivers: Five ways driving in France will change 

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France