New speed camera in France – what is the Nano Parifex and how does it work?

Drivers from the UK heading to France could find they are hit with more speeding tickets after new ‘super-precise’ speed cameras, the Nano Parifex, have been introduced.

Here is all you need to know about the new speed cameras when driving on French roads.

A French road and the possibility of speed camerasNew speed cameras are coming to French roads - here are the details  (Credit: European Roads/Flikr)

What is the Nano Parifex speed camera in France?

The Nano Parifex is put on the top of existing camera and has 360-degree scanning capabilities that can record and analyse a driver’s speed to higher levels of accuracy.

Will it need more fines for British drivers in France?

It could mean more fines for British and French drivers, because it is so accurate the margin for error is removed. Currently it is reported that 5km/h is deducted from recorded speed before a fine is issued to account for the margin of error on existing cameras.

This reduction in recorded speed will potentially no longer be required due to the super-precise nature of the new cameras – potentially meaning more fines for all drivers in France.

Do the cameras work like the current ones over a small distance?

The new speed cameras can operate over a much longer distance – rather than the fixed point that current cameras record a driver’s speed over. This could also result in more drivers being issued with penalties.

Is it just used as a speed camera?

The Nano Parifex can also spot other driving infringements, such as crossing continuous white lines and ignoring stopping distances.

However, the cameras have yet to be employed for such offences – but it is reported that this could soon happen.

How does the Nano Parifex speed camera work?

It is claimed that the Nano is almost 100% accurate. It uses laser-sweeping to model in 3D trajectory and speed of cars over more than 100m, with mathematics analysing the average speed over the distance.

The camera's manufacturer lists the Nano Parifex's benefits and key features as follow:

  • Detects all static and moving objects (pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles…)
  • Simultaneous discrimination of multiple targets
  • Vehicle profiling (dimensions, distance, speed, etc…)
  • Large field of view (up to 360°)
  • Rapid data acquisition time
  • Resistant to any extreme weather conditions
  • Immunity to lighting variations (during daytime and at night).
  • Light and compact
  • One single sensor for multiple enforcement

What do French motoring organisations say about the new cameras?

The drivers’ organisation 40 Millions d’automobilistes spokesman Pierre Chasseray said: “This is the symbol of a zero tolerance policy from the government.

“I fear that this high-precision speed radar could increase the number of non-dangerous speed tickets with an excess from 1-5km/h.”

He also said that 50% of tickets were issued in that range, so without the 5km/h reduction for margin of error, there is likely to be a large increase in speeding tickets issued.

Do French speed cameras flash?

Most of them will flash if they are static cameras - including the new Nano Parifex speed camera. However, mobile speed cameras used by the French police will not flash. The same if true for the new fleet of private speed camera cars that are fanning out across France. 

Will the number of speed cameras increase in France?

As of 1 January, 2021, there were 4,224 speed cameras in France, according to the ticket-issuing agency.

There are plans to increase this number to 4,700 by the end of the year. The French authorities are also increasing the use of mobile, invisible cameras used in police cars and by other private operators.

Are there average speed cameras in France?

Yes, radars tronçons, check average speed between two points over several kilometres, so cannot be avoided by braking when a camera comes in sight, are another recent addition. These are the same as average speed cameras found during roadworks and as permanent cameras on motorways such as the M25.

Do I even have to pay a speeding fine from France?

If driving a hire car and the fine was issued through being caught on camera and not stopped at the side of the road, the fine will likely be sent to the hire car firm, which will take the money off your credit card – and in many cases add an admin charge at the same time.

If in your own car, you are unlikely to receive a fine – but this is not ruled out – due to post-Brexit agreements not being completed. France is, however, keen to forge a deal where details are shared – in a similar agreement it has with non-Eu country Switzerland.

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