France targeting holiday drivers

A French crackdown on holidaying motorists has begun as the busiest traffic weekend of the year marked the start of the annual dash for the sun.

The traditional start of the August summer holidays sees millions of inhabitants take to the roads on trips away, just as foreign tourists start to head south.

June, which is not even an official holiday month in France, saw horrific numbers of road accidents and injuries reported with 408 people killed, a third up on the figures from last year. The French Government has responded with plans to introduce French road rules guides in English, Spanish, Italian and German as well as a nationwide campaign for French drivers.

Foreign drivers represent 10% of the traffic in the country, and account for 9% of fatal collisions. In holiday periods, foreigners pick up 30% of all speeding tickets, with Germans the worst offenders having had 364,943 tickets in 2008.

Foreigners who are caught speeding, and have no cash to pay an on-the-spot fine, risk immediate confiscation of their vehicle under French law.

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