French drivers earn money from on-board speed cameras

Citizen speed cameras used in anti speeding drive

A Spanish motorway at night. Credit; Alfredo Maiquez/

In the quest to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities, authorities worldwide are forever considering innovative measures.

In France, certain motorists have speed cameras installed in their vehicles, earning up to €1,500 per month, could this scheme ever come to Spain?

In 2023, Spain’s General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) ramped up efforts to curtail road accidents by significantly increasing radar installations. This move underscores a broader European challenge in the relentless quest to improve road safety.

France’s private radar revolution

France has taken a unique approach by deploying 400 new mobile radars at the start of 2024, as announced by a French company on social media.

These aren’t your typical radars monitored by police or official agency personnel. Instead, they’re operated by private citizens, driving unmarked cars across French cities. This strategy allows for a more discreet surveillance of speeding drivers, potentially catching them off guard.

The mechanics behind mobile radars

A few years ago, France embarked on an innovative scheme by employing hundreds of drivers to carry mobile radars in their vehicles.

The police praised this method for its simplicity and effectiveness in detecting speeding violations. The French Traffic Department contracted four major companies to recruit suitable drivers for this task, proving that sometimes, the best solutions come from thinking outside the box.

Who can operate these cameras?

Not just anyone can become a radar operator. Candidates need at least 10 out of 12 points on their driving licence, ensuring that only the most responsible drivers are selected for the job.

These operators roam French roads, earning around €1,500 monthly, a fee that correlates with the distance covered rather than the fines issued.

Spain’s approach to traffic control

While Spain has not adopted France’s model yet, it still has its own preferred method of traffic management, in which private companies earn revenue.

Spanish municipalities, rather than the DGT, take the responsibility in hiring companies for traffic surveillance through cameras and radars.

These companies receive up to 50 per cent commission, but it’s the town councils that ultimately issue the penalties.

This French initiative is currently off-limits in Spain, where it’s seen as a procedural flaw that could nullify any penalties enforced by mobile radars.

Each country’s unique legal and administrative frameworks shape how they address road safety, reflecting the complex landscape of traffic management across Europe.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Robert Marshall

      04 February 2024 • 13:40

      Helping transfer money from their fellow citizens to the trough eating elites

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