Since January 1, 2017, employers have the obligation to report to the competent authorities the identity of employees who commit certain types of road traffic offenses whilst driving a company car, failing which penalties will be applied.
How is this new rule enforced in practice and what are the actual implications of this new obligation?
The new reporting obligation introduced by the reform
Before the reform brought about by the Law of November 18, 20161, employers used to pay the fines imposed in connection with road traffic offenses committed by their employees driving a company car. Employees thus remained unpunished as they escaped the loss of points on their driving license and did not have to pay any fine.
Article L. 121-6 of the French Road Rules and Regulations henceforth imposes on employers the obligation to report the identity of employees who commit the road traffic offenses targeted by the reform whilst driving a company car.
Employers are released from this obligation only in case of force majeure, theft of the company car or car number plate cloning.
As such, employees become liable for road traffic offenses, as listed hereafter, committed during their business travels and now assume the criminal consequences of their driving behavior.
The road traffic offenses targeted by the reform
Article L.121-6 of the French Road Rules and Regulations targets exclusively the offenses recorded "as per the terms stated in Article L.139-9 [of said Rules and Regulations]", i.e. offenses recorded "by or from automated control devices". Based on these provisions, it seems that the obligation to report does not apply to road traffic offenses recorded by an officer in a handwritten traffic ticket.
In addition, Implementing Decree of December 28, 20162 provides an exhaustive list of the relevant offenses3, such as exceeding the maximum allowed speed limits, not complying with traffic signs requiring vehicles to stop, or using a hand-held phone.
The employer has the obligation to report to the Agence Nationale du Traitement Automatisé des Infractions (National Agency for Automated Offence Processing or "ANTAI") the identity and address of the employee who was driving the car.
The employer has 45 days from the date of dispatch or delivery of the traffic ticket to report the identity of the employee (i) by registered letter, return receipt requested, together with the form annexed to the traffic ticket, or (ii) directly online on the...