Speed ​​cameras: a huge shortfall in 2019 and 2020

Road radars are only expected to bring in between 500 and 600 million euros in 2019, and around 730 million in 2020, while the government was hoping for more than 1 billion euros in revenue a year ago, before the crisis. “Yellow vests”. This shortfall is explained by the destruction of aircraft but also by changes in behavior.

The speed camera availability rate fell from 93% to 75% in 2019 due to acts of vandalism.

Radars, it would have paid off but it no longer pays (or at least a lot less). After breaking all records since 2016, road camera revenue should experience a sharp drop this year as next year. According to our information, the government believes that these should amount to between 500 and 600 million euros this year. As for next year, a small increase is expected, to 728 million, according to documents annexed to the finance bill for 2020.

In both cases, we remain a thousand leagues from the amount that was expected for 2019 a year ago at this time, i.e. 1.04 billion euros. “There is a real stall”, concedes a government source. In fact, we are returning to levels of revenue that have not been known since 2015, when the government of the day decided to tighten its road safety policy to react to the increase in mortality observed in previous years. Since then the amount had peaked in 2017 to 824.7 million, but the upward trend was broken in 2018, with a first drop to 682.7 million.

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The role of destruction

How to explain this trend reversal? The destruction observed since the implementation of the speed limit of 80 km / h on secondary roads, then amplified by the crisis of “yellow vests”, necessarily play an obvious role. In fact, to have revenue, the radars must still be in working order. However, the availability rate of this equipment fell from 93% in 2017 to 88.87% in 2018, then collapsed to 75% in 2019, according to the latest estimates. The reason ? “An unprecedented wave of vandalism”, is it written in the budget documents. For 2020, the government hopes to reduce this rate to 93%, which seems a challenge.

Worse, even when the radars were in a state of flashing in recent months, that did not mean that the drivers were pursued. The number of ticket notices sent after an infraction message has dropped by more than 17%. With the damage, many of the photos taken by the radars were all black, and therefore de facto unusable.

Slight drop in average speed

However, the government also wants to believe that this drop in revenue expected next year also reflects changes in behavior. Thus, the executive’s document mentions “A slight drop in the average speed of passenger vehicles” in 2018, at 79.6 km / h against 80.8 km / h in 2017. The year 2019 would follow the same slope, according to the latest estimates. “On roads limited to 80 km / h since mid-2018, the average speed practiced over the year has dropped by 2 km / h. In built-up areas, the downward trend in town centers and in crossing small towns is confirmed (-3 km / h since 2015) ”, is it underlined. On the other hand, exceeding the authorized speed would remain frequent on urban axes.

The headwinds blowing against automated control are in any case forcing the government to adapt. Thus the fleet of radars should stand at 4,400 devices by the end of 2020, while the objective was to reach 4,700 devices. The deployment of decoy panels should nevertheless continue, as well as the outsourcing of the driving of radar cars to private companies: after Normandy, in 2018, the system will be extended to three other regions at the beginning of 2020, then to four others at the end of 2020. 2020. Finally, the government promises to “Continue the deployment of” turret radars “, while they have been particularly targeted by acts of vandalism for several months.