VS’is a book of almost 500 pages, with tight lines and abundant references, which is worth its weight in PV. Although it may seem technical – it is primarily intended for lawyers, judges, police officers, etc. –, even off-putting, it asks the right question: is the traffic law offender a litigant like the others? The answer is clearly no, but, like the celluloid babies crushed in Jean-Christophe Averty’s chopper, the courts willingly summon drivers to appear but as little as possible to speak.
By publishing the sum of their combined experiences in terms of defending the motorist, Rémy Josseaume and Jean-Baptiste Le Dall are kicking the boat in the lucrative little business of road safety. Because, from the top of their red Highway Code, whose articles add up to each other and only confuse the evolution of the law, no user knows which Saint Christopher to turn to.
Our two black-robed friends belong to that race of lawyers feared above all by judges. They prevent them from dancing in circles and from bringing down the caudine pitchfork of justice on poor wretches who generally don’t hear anything at all what they are told. I thus knew a precursor of user rights who once opposed European law to French law in order to flush out flaws and obtain unexpected releases.
He found, by carrying out an investigation into each thorny case, the contentious point, relying on an unparalleled knowledge of the law. He then sent a voluminous file of conclusions to the judge having to deal with the case one or two days before the appearance. Suffice to say that the case was arranged the same day behind the scenes so that this single case does not come to slow down the hundreds of others piling up on the offices of the Court.
Precisely, to circumvent this problem of the courts clogged by the often automated radars, one passed from a justice of ground to a justice of slaughter. Jacques Chirac having, rightly, made road safety a great national cause (2003) when there was nothing else to eat, it was necessary to scale the sanction to the formidable efficiency of the automated tool with the first 1,000 radars installed.
It is therefore, to avoid mass litigation maintained by a “zero tolerance” unique in law, that the repressive system has since then become implacable, giving the feeling to motorists prosecuted that it is better to be a legal offender. common than road law.
The latter, says Rémy Josseaume, “never knows the notion of impunity or amnesty. He exposes himself in the event of conviction to multiple cumulative penalties (suspension of the license, fine, loss of points, obligation of internship, prison sentence, confiscation of his vehicle). For a single act, the “road offender” can accumulate no less than four to five sentences on average, whereas the common law offender will only suffer at most one or two (imprisonment and fine)! “.
Better still, in the name of the principle of endangering others, his license is withdrawn as a preventive measure by the prefect (sometimes up to 12 months). The sanction which is not yet pronounced legally is thus already executed administratively. It is not a question here of defending the delinquents of the steering wheel or the handlebars and the irresponsible on whom nothing seems to have taken hold, but of ceasing to assimilate the “good fathers” to these real pirates of the road.
95.4% of speeding offenses are under 20 km/h
The intervention of a judge therefore appears necessary at the preliminary stage, but the courts do not have the means to do so. So, we condemn to automatic penalties to reap revenue (809 million euros in 2021 with 4,700 radars in service), without adversarial debate. With the prospect of a seizure or even cancellation of the driving license and, in certain more serious cases, the confiscation of the vehicle.
In the lightest cases, those who fill the coffers – 95.4% of speeding offenses in 2019 were under 20 km / h – the owner of the vehicle is prosecuted because he is presumed guilty. And this even if proof of the identity of the driver has not been provided by the police. According to this bad principle, he can only escape the financial penalty by denouncing the driver. A sinister example of denunciation erected into a justice system.
It goes without saying that the deviant behavior of wildlings at the wheel will never be deterred by these repressive tools and it is therefore the average citizen who thus enters the crushing machine of the drivers presumed responsible. But not necessarily guilty. The encyclopedic work of Josseaume and Le Dall leaves nothing to chance to finally escape resignation by explaining how, in France, one can, with great patience and tenacity, assert one’s rights.
Road Lawby Rémy Josseaume and Jean-Baptiste Le Dall – €59 from Lexis Nexis editions.