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Traffic Fine

Folsom, Pennsylvania
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Traffic Fine

I rented a car in France and when I got home I received a letter from Hertz saying they were charging my credit card to provide the French police with my information. The letter says I was charged with a violation on June 1 and the issue date was June 17. I have mot received any tickets as of yet. I was careful about my speed and the only thing I can think of is the U-turn I made in Paris. How long does it take for me to get the ticket or is there someplace I can view it on the internet?

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53 replies to this topic
Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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1. Re: Traffic Fine

You may or may not actually receive a ticket but the police have been very diligent recently in collecting fines. Most likely you received an infraction for speeding. There are thousands of speed cameras all over France and unless you are very, very careful about following the speed rules, (hopefully you are familiar with them) , you can relatively easily exceed the limit.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Traffic Fine

As I have posted on an earlier thread, we received a ticket via our rental company for driving 4km above the speed limit as charged by a speed camera.

Edina, Minnesota
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3. Re: Traffic Fine

Very similar experience to Sarastro; we also travelled in France this past summer, rented a car from Hertz. Shortly after coming home, I received a statement from Hertz that our account was charged ~ 19 euro for an administrative fee for a traffic violation. In October, I received a several page document from a government agency in France, that appears to be a fine of some sort. I've sent a reply that we will need to receive correspondence in English, as we speak not a word of French. Question remains; if we ignore this, what are the consequences?

Le Bugue, France
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4. Re: Traffic Fine

I very highly doubt you'll get a response to your request to provide correspondence in English. That's simply not their responsibility. If you can't read French you need a translator. If you ignore it, it's possible you'll be prevented from renting in France again, or worse. The consequences may have been detailed in the correspondence.

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for Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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5. Re: Traffic Fine

You might try using Google Translate to get an idea of what the French Government agency said in the document that they sent you. There is also a possibility that Hertz has information regarding the details of your traffic violation.

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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6. Re: Traffic Fine

Weimann, one of the consequences of not paying is that you would be a lawbreaker who did not accept the legal consequences meted out to them. For me, that's enough to make me pay (in any country). The timeline you're experiencing (about 6 months after the rental agency supplied the information) is typical.

It is likely that the instructions for contesting the ticket have been sent to you (in French, just as the U.S. sends drivers similar information in English), and if you do not contest it, the fine will eventually show up on your credit card (Hertz, I believe, puts that fact in their rental agreements).

We don't have your rental agreement at hand, but it may also state that if you do not pay fines yourself (within the deadlines indicated and in the manner indicated on your citation), they will charge you an administrative fee when they charge your credit card. Europcar charges 25€, but Hertz, I believe, charges 60€ ($80 more or less). So one consequence is that you'll pay more if you let Hertz do it for you.

Since Hertz will likely be out the money for the fine if you don't pay (credit card is declined or whatever), Hertz can then use its American collections agency to go after you. I know of one person who had this happen more than a year after returning (from Italy). I think it used to be a very unlikely consequence, but all governments are needing to generate legal revenue and you got caught.

So, one consequence is that you get to wonder just how much Hertz will charge you - and when they will charge you (or if they will just ding your credit report and hope you call them up).

France shares unpaid traffic violation information with all the other Schengen countries, and they are apparently tweaking their database to make sure they capture as much revenue as possible - so it may not just be France where you'd find yourself with an unpaid ticket booked against the license you used when you rented. (You asked about consequences - those are all the ones I can think of!)

I would just pay it. Typically, fines in France are much less than in most U.S. states...

It is very difficult to always see the speed limit signs in busy foreign areas, that's for sure.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Traffic Fine

Be aware that the amount of the fine escalates as time passes from the date of the original ticket. Like from 35€ if paid in 14 days, 90€ up to 30 days, 135€ at the next increment, etc, etc. As written above, it should not be ignored.

Christchurch, New...
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8. Re: Traffic Fine

The French authorities have seemingly upped their game. We received our traffic infringement notices within four weeks of the infringements. I was twice clocked at 6 kph over the limit. That's 45e to the French and 19.99e to Hertz France for each case...

Champlon, Belgium
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9. Re: Traffic Fine

The fine notices show the speed recorded after the allowed margin (varies, but typically 5km/h) has been deducted. Therefore, if the fine notices show that you were twice 6km/h in excess, you were actually driving at around 11km/h over the limit.

The moral is simple, if you can't drive consistently at the limit itself, drive at a speed 10km/h below it.

Finally, remember that all the faster French limits (130km/h, 110km/h and 90 km/h) all drop (to 110km/h, 90km/h and 80 km/h) when it is raining - and may drop even further (typically to 70km/h or even 50 km/h) if there is a "Pic de Pollution". Notification of Départments in which a "Pic de Pollution" has been declared is given in French TV and radio broadcasts and by occasional roadside signs - and the number of speed checks is always increased.

Walnut Creek...
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10. Re: Traffic Fine

Don't assume that the rental car company will help you out with this. Hertz will charge you an administration fee to provide your address to the French authorities but won't tell you how much you owe. I've heard that other rental agencies will put the cost of the ticket and the administration fee on your bill so you can pay all at once and avoid the late fees. Not Hertz. I received the notice on January 30, even though it was posted in November. Fortunately, the fee had only doubled rather than quadrupled as I thought at first. The website (www.antai.fr) makes it easy to see how much you owe and pay it online. Just put in your "No. de Telepaiement" found on the ticket. Now if only there was a way to find out earlier.

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