Convictions for traffic offences

In 2017, 255,179 criminal convictions and compositions punished 340,373 road safety offences. This represents more than 41% of convictions and 36% of offences punishable by a criminal conviction or composition.

This summary was prepared on the basis of provisional estimates provided by the Ministry of Justice.

The scope covered by the statistical data of the Ministry of Justice consists of convictions handed down, according to various procedures (criminal orders, court judgment and appearance on a preliminary admission of guilt), for a 5th class offence and contravention relating to road safety and entered in the Criminal Record. In addition, there are criminal compositions which are alternative procedures that do not constitute the first term of recidivism but whose measures are recorded in the criminal record.

Non-compliance with road traffic regulations

In 2017, 148,288 convictions (58.1% of the total) for 161,736 offences (47.5% of the total) were as follows:

  • 115,107 convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol: down -8% since 2014 but up +8% between 2000 and 2017. Of these convictions, 18,700, or 16%, reported recidivism, a decrease of -16% from 2013.
  • 32,235 convictions for driving under the influence of narcotics, up + 45% compared to 2013.
  • 946 convictions for high speeding (50 km/h and over), 67 of which were repeat convictions (data not comparable with previous years because police court data are missing for 2017).

Lack of proper documents

83,462 convictions (32.7% of the total) punish 137,466 "paper" offences (40.4% of the total). These offences relating to the absence of a driving licence and the lack of insurance are frequently found in other offences and are therefore often associated with each other or with other offences within the same conviction.
Over the period 2014 and 2017, the number of convictions for "paper" offences fell slightly, as a result of a 13.5% decrease in insurance default. However, there was an increase over the same period in the number of convictions for driving without a licence (+4.2%) and for driving despite a licence suspension (+5.6%).

Obstacle to law enforcement control

13,939 convictions (5.5% of the total) punish 29,566 offences (8.7% of the total) for hit and run offences, refusal to comply, refusal to check alcoholic status or use of police instrument disruptive devices; up 13.5% from 2014.
Imprisonments are pronounced in 43% of cases, and imprisonment in whole or in part firm in 20% of convictions.

Involuntary injuries

8,717 convictions (3.4% of the total) for 9,576 offences (2.8% of the total). Of these convictions, 7,902 were for unintentional injuries, including 1,674 for alcoholic driving. Imprisonment is pronounced 3 times more often if the driver has aggravating circumstances (in 80% of sentences, compared to 27% in the absence of the driver).

Age of offenders

Excluding minors who are not very involved in road crime, those convicted of road safety offences are older than all convicts: the share of 18-19 year olds is almost half as high as that of all convicts. One in three convicts is at least 40 years old compared to one in four for all adult convicts.

Gender of offenders

While women are slightly less represented overall (10%) than in all criminal convictions (10.7%), the proportion of women varies from one type of offence to another. It is particularly low for driving under suspension (6.5%) or driving under the influence of drugs (6.0%). On the other hand, the proportion of women is significantly higher in manslaughter not aggravated by alcohol (29% in case of injury, 27% in case of homicide). It should be noted that the proportion of women has increased in recent years in terms of driving under the influence of alcohol, from 6% in 2000 to 11.1% in 2017.