A French court has imposed a one-month driving suspension on 15 drivers after they were convicted of posting the locations of speed traps and cameras to a Facebook group.
The page – "Le groupe qui te dit ou est la police en Aveyron" or "the group that tells you where the police are in Aveyron" – boasts over 13,000 members and provides regular updates of mobile speed cameras around the Aveyron region of France.
Back in June, the cops caught wind of the page and petitioned the court to prosecute the members. Ten were originally identified and another five were later added, all of which were sentenced over the offense of soustraction à la constatation des infractions routières (identifying or interfering with road traffic offenders).
France has always been hell on drivers that use any kind of device to identify radar, laser, or speed cameras locations. It banned detectors over a decade ago and in 2012 instituted a new law that prohibited the use of GPS devices with speed camera data. But this court ruling could set a precedent.
Rémy Josseaume, the defense lawyer for the group, argues that the ruling made no sense, since even the local police use Facebook to promote roadside checks. The group's founder, Mathieu Chane points out that they're only one of several groups doing the same thing in France. "It is hypocritical judgment," says Chane (through Google's translation bots). "We are more than 13,000 members on the group and 600,000 in France to use this type of Facebook pages and now, we are only 15 to be sentenced. Do you even lift?" (Something might've got lost in translation on that last part.)