the priest in a hurry and the obsolete radar

LFather Dominique R. is in trouble, this June 5, 2020, on the roads of Touraine. The mass he planned to celebrate that morning, more than an hour away, risks starting without him if he doesn’t crash behind the wheel of his Peugeot 308. So the priest pulls the plug. The Lord will forgive him. But not the constabulary.

Posted at the end of a straight line at the exit of Reignac-sur-Indre (Indre-et-Loire), a gendarmerie brigadier pointed a portable laser radar at him. The driver is flashed at 142 kilometers per hour, instead of the authorized 80 kilometers per hour. The Tours police court will sentence the offender to a fine of 400 euros and a six-month driving license suspension.

Dominique R., 58, was not present at his appeal trial on Monday, December 4 in Orléans. It was a bit predictable: the case is already on its third referral, and the debates are dragging on, three and a half years after the facts.

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Justiciable among his fellows, the ecclesiastic has the same rights as them. What did he do to defend himself? He offered himself the services of a Parisian law firm, Samson & Weil, specializing in traffic offense law. He did not miss the opportunity to question the reliability of the measuring device used during the road check: an Ultralyte radar dating from 2001, requiring an annual service.

However, the metrological logbook for the tool is missing. Two letters rogatory to find him were unsuccessful. Most likely hypothesis: the radar could have been thrown away by the Amboise gendarmerie, and the said notebook with it. Blessed bread for the defender of the abbot in a hurry, lawyer Guillaume Kern. And a certain embarrassment on the part of the magistrates. President Véronique Van Gampelaere and General Counsel Isabelle Pagenelle agree to consider the release of the accused, ahead of the deliberations, expected in two months.

Congested courts

It is a real shame that Father R. was not able to attend the appeal hearing that afternoon. The man of God could have verified that his contemporaries, failing to atone for their faults on the road, are clogging up the courts in the hope of keeping their threatened driving licenses. The following case concerns a driver flashed at 153 kilometers per hour on the A10 motorway in August 2022, Nicolas G., more busy calming his 4-month-old baby who was crying in the back than looking at his dashboard.

This is what he explained to the house marshal of La Chaussée-Saint-Victor (Loir-et-Cher) who fined him but… without initialing the report. Coming from a computer company, an electronic signature will certainly be provided by the gendarmerie, except that the time indicated does not correspond to the registration of the infraction, but to “that of the Greenwich meridian”lifts Me Kern, assigned to this other speeding case likely to cost the driver his pink ticket.

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