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French Government Cracks Down On Motorists During Pandemic
French government cracks down on motorists during coronavirus, while vigilantes resume anti-speed camera operations.

French checkpoint
French officials are facing a massive drop-off of revenue as vehicle traffic has plunged by an estimated 70 percent due to the coronavirus containment order preventing travel that government officials deem "non essential." Motorists must present a certificate stating exact departure time for each trip, with hefty fines of up to 3750 euros (US $4188) in place for anyone who stays out for more than one hour (view the travel certificate in a 150k PDF file). The travel papers must be presented at roadblocks throughout the country, and a separate form is required to prove a professional need to travel. The restrictions took effect on March 17 and are set to expire on April 15.

Speed cameras currently bring in 5.4 million euros (US $6 million) in profit each day, meaning a 30-day lockdown would cost the government 162 million euros (US $180 million). This follows the massive half-billion euro (US $560 million) losses of thousands of speed cameras from vigilante destruction last year during the Yellow Vest protest movement.

After a brief respite, vigilantes in France have resumed their crusade against the use of speed cameras. On Thursday, white paint was used to blind the speed camera on the RD977 near Suippes. On Wednesday, black paint was used on the speed camera in Remiremont. On March 23, the speed camera located on the D943 in Annezin was destroyed after being set on fire. Vigilantes also blinded the speed camera in Rigny-sur-Arroux with white spraypaint.

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