A single moment of inattention can land you a fine of 150 euros on the train or metro

This fine of 150 euros is hanging over everyone's noses.

A single moment of inattention can land you a fine of 150 euros on the train or metro

This fine of 150 euros is hanging over everyone's noses. You just need to be a little distracted...

When taking public transport, it is better to stay focused. The most forgetful can miss their stop, which can cause a lot of inconvenience, but can also make a blunder which has consequences for all travelers: forgetting their luggage. “One piece of luggage forgotten by a traveler means an hour of disrupted traffic”, but it is also a fine to pay!

The SNCF and other transport companies constantly deploy communication campaigns to avoid these oversights, often due to passengers' lack of attention. But due to lack of efficiency, financial sanctions have been put in place to limit the number of forgotten bags. It must be said that luggage abandoned, voluntarily or not, by travelers is the primary cause of delays for mainline trains and urban transport such as RERs, trams or metros...

The scourge of abandoned suitcases has worsened in recent years: the number of procedures for abandoned luggage has tripled between 2018 and 2021, noted Alain Krakovitch, director of SNCF Travel at VRT. However, for each suspicious piece of abandoned baggage, an intervention by transport operators and in the worst case law enforcement, or even deminers, is necessary to secure the area. A procedure that has become systematic since the attacks of 2015 and which causes thousands of hours of delays on trains each year.

In addition to repeated warnings, transport companies do not hide the amount to be paid in the event of abandoned luggage. RATP, the company responsible for public transport in Ile-de-France, indicates that travelers who own forgotten luggage incur a fine of 150 euros. An already high amount, but only valid if it is paid immediately to the controller. The amount is then increased: €180 if the fine is paid within 20 days, €200 if payment is made between 20 and 90 days and €375 after three months. The SNCF aligns itself with the fine of €150 to which the owners of “luggage left unattended at the station and the absence of risks cannot be immediately seen”.

The risk of receiving a fine for abandoned luggage exists in all stations. When the intervention of the judicial authorities and demining teams is requested, "the owner may be fined a fixed fine of 178 euros to which are added the application fees of 38 euros", indicated the prefectures in 2015. And the sanction can be significantly more significant if the oversight affects rail traffic, the passenger then risks six months of imprisonment and a fine of 3,750 euros according to article L2242-4-4 of the Transport Code. In addition to the fine, it is simply the destruction of the abandoned luggage and the loss of personal effects that punishes travelers.