New French law allows speed cameras to be decided at local level

The municipalities will be able to have their own speed cameras if they wish, under a new law passed by parliament.

The law was drafted in response to the yellow vests events, but also covers a whole range of other topics.

Read more: Who are the yellow vests today?

The speed camera measurement was one of the demands of local councilors when President Macron toured the country after the protests to show he was taking local concerns seriously.

He is nicknamed the 3D law after his full name law on differentiation, decentralization, deconcentration and on various measures to simplify local public action. This caused a lot of ironic comments in the French media due to the complexity of large parts of the text.

Read more: Town halls could decide where to place local speed cameras under new bill

Until now, towns with municipal police could only enforce speeding laws using binocular speed cameras, which require a team of officers to operate.

Revenue from local speed camera fines will go into the state pot, at least 30% of which will be used for road safety measures.

Other parts of the bill allow local municipalities and metropolitan areas to take control of national roads. This could put an end to the confusion that occurs when roads change from one status to another as they cross municipal boundaries.

Although the government‘s latest energy plan provides for the end of new onshore wind turbines, as they are extremely unpopular, the law has changed the planning permission procedures so that now municipalities that want wind turbines must say so in their local urban plans.

The law also stipulates that neighboring municipalities must be consulted during the planning process for wind turbines.

Read more: French court considers wind farm a source of health problems for residents

The regulations on social houses and apartments are also modified under the law. The objectives of at least 20% of housing in a municipality in social housing remain, but the deadline of 2025 is postponed to a date yet to be fixed.

It is also now possible for municipalities to plan with their neighbors to meet the requirement – by building a common housing estate, for example.

Municipalities can now recover abandoned buildings (called possessions without masters) after 10 years instead of 30.

Schools could also see some changes, with departmental and regional councils given functional authority on the management of colleges and high schools.

Kitchen, security and accounting staff will now see their status, as local or state civil servants, clarified.

All teachers and matters related to education remain under the supervision of the Ministry of National Education.

The law also provides special provisions for Marseille, where an intermediate level will be abolished, and for Seine-Saint-Denis, where social allowances from the RSA will be handed over to the supervision of the State for a trial period of five years.

Counselors had complained that there were so many people receiving the RSA that the ministry had no money left for everything else.

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