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French court: You may show middle finger to speed radar

Staff Writer |
It is not possible to offend a machine, a court has ruled after prosecutors recommended a motorist who gave two speed cameras ‘the finger’ face a prison term of up to four months.

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As reported in March, prosecutors in Roanne, Loire, had recommended the jail term for ‘insulting behaviour to a public servant’ as camera centre staff in Rennes must by law view the photos to determine if speeding charges could be laid, The Connexion reported.

The 46-year-old driver, from Regny, Loire, had admitted speeding and giving a ‘doigt d’honneur’ to two automatic speed cameras at Saint-Forgeux-Lespinasse, Loire, and then Bessay-sur-Allier, Allier in May 2015.

Handing down its ruling this month, the court agreed with the defendant's lawyer, who had argued that "contempt of a machine does not exist in law".

But the defendant did not get away scot-free. He was fined €800, of which €600 was suspended, for trying to obscure his number plate, and also sentenced to several months in prison for a drink-driving offence committed in 2017.

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