November 21, 2012

Say what you like about the French (they’ll probably just shrug and mutter a dismissive bof!), but those Froggies do dogged noncompliance better than pretty much anyone.

The latest instance of this rampantly recalcitrant trait came with the news that French traffic cops have had it with speed cameras. More specifically, it seems they’ll be b*ggered if they’re going to have stupid enforcement quotas imposed on them by some jumped up moron in a business suit.

The French have never had a problem speaking their minds. Une bêche is invariably called une bêche across The Channel* – and generally quite forcefully so. No big surprise then that Frog cops are calling the country’s newly extended speed cam network a tawdry money-grubbing distraction from proper police work.

In the absence of other viable revenue streams, The French Government is no doubt delighted with the €700 million it rakes in each year from its recently Draconianised speed enforcement regime. But les flics are frankly disgusted at having to spend so much time filling monthly quotas simply to qualify for their bonuses. Spending half one’s time catching speeding motorists is neither manly nor dignified.

Worse yet, Frog cops claim that many of the newer cameras are situated on fast safe country roads in virtually unpopulated areas – where their life-saving intent seems highly questionable. Now a hardcore group of rebel policemen have begun expressing their contempt by bin-bagging or taping up cameras they don’t like the look of (see illustration).

The fact that road deaths in France have fallen by around 10% year on year during 2012 is purely coincidental, rogue cops claim. suggesting that roads are safer.

Determinedly resolute as they may be, it’s hard to image that – even in the land of liberté égalité and fraternité – a few surly coppers can long resist the centralist might of Grand Frère.

* Except when it’s called une pelle. The French say they believe in calling a cat a cat (and not, presumably, lunch until we’ve defeated these monarchist b*stards).


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