Even though the General Police Inspectorate (IGP) does not have the competency to examine complaints about the rightfulness of Police fines in relation with contraventions to the traffic regulations (“Code de la Route”), the IGP often happens to be the recipient of such complaints.
It is worth mentioning that these complaints should be directly addressed to the Police agent in charge, the Police itself or the competent judicial authorities, and this before paying the fine. In case, the IGP hands this kind of complaints over to the General Direction of the Police, it automatically receives a copy of the respective correspondences that will later be used to inform the complainant about the results of the investigation.
Having noted that some Police agents were insisting on an immediate payment of such traffic-related fines, the IGP has looked into the issue by analyzing in how far these practices are compatible with the Police prescriptions and the current legal framework.
It clearly resulted that the immediate payment of the due tax is only one of two hypotheses foreseen by article 15, paragraph 3, of the law of 14 February 1955 concerning the traffic regulations, the second being a deferred payment at the Police station or a transfer of the amount due.
Upon initiative of the IGP, a reminder was sent out within the Police and the internal prescriptions were clarified in the sense that a resident offender has the choice of one of the following three options:
immediate payment of the fine, cash or with a credit card;
deferred payment within the given deadline;
refusal to pay.
While the payment equals the acceptance of the reproached violation(s), the refusal to pay and the payment after the given deadline entail the writing of a report of the circumstances. The citizen in question is then heard and can present his version of the facts, in order for the judicial authorities to decide on the appropriate follow-up.