France: L'obligation nouvelle de désignation par l'employeur du salarié ayant commis des infractions routières

Last Updated: 23 October 2018
Article by Justine Cheytion

Depuis le 1er janvier 2017, l'employeur a désormais l'obligation d'indiquer aux autorités l'identité du salarié ayant commis certaines infractions routières avec un véhicule appartenant à l'entreprise, et ce sous peine d'amende.

Qu'en est-il de l'application pratique et des conséquences concrètes de cette réforme ?

L'obligation nouvelle de désignation instaurée par la réforme

Avant la réforme opérée par la loi du 18 novembre 20161, les employeurs payaient les amendes résultant des infractions routières commises par leurs salariés avec leurs véhicules de fonction. Les salariés demeuraient ainsi impunis, sans retrait de point ni amende à régler.

Désormais, l'article L. 121-6 du Code de la route impose à l'employeur d'indiquer l'identité du salarié ayant commis les infractions routières visées par la réforme avec un véhicule appartenant à la société.

L'employeur est uniquement dispensé de cette obligation en cas de force majeure, de vol du véhicule, ou d'usurpation de la plaque d'immatriculation.

Ainsi, les salariés deviennent responsables des infractions routières, décrites ci-après, commises lors de leurs déplacements professionnels et assument désormais pleinement les conséquences pénales de leur conduite.

Les infractions concernées

L'article L.121-6 du Code de la route vise exclusivement les infractions constatées « selon les modalités prévues à l'article L. 130-9 », c'est-à-dire au moyen d'« appareils de contrôle automatique homologués ». Il semble donc, à la lecture des textes, que les infractions routières constatées par un agent dressant un procès-verbal manuel ne sont pas concernées par l'obligation de désignation.

Par ailleurs, le décret d'application du 28 décembre 20162 dresse une liste exhaustive des infractions concernées3, contenant notamment le dépassement des vitesses maximales autorisées, le non-respect des signalisations imposant l'arrêt du véhicule, ou encore l'usage d'un téléphone portable tenu en main.

La procédure

L'employeur est tenu de communiquer à l'Agence Nationale du Traitement Automatisé des Infractions (ANTAI) l'identité et l'adresse du salarié qui conduisait le véhicule.

L'employeur dispose d'un délai de 45 jours à compter de l'envoi ou de la remise de l'avis de contravention pour indiquer l'identité du salarié par lettre recommandée avec accusé de réception avec le formulaire joint à l'avis de contravention, ou directement en ligne sur le site www.antail.fr.

La sanction de la non-désignation

En cas de non-désignation, l'employeur doit non seulement s'acquitter de l'amende due au titre de l'infraction commise par son salarié, mais s'expose également au paiement de l'amende prévue pour les contraventions de 4e classe (pouvant atteindre 750 euros pour l'employeur personne physique et 3.750 euros pour l'employeur personne morale).

Dans son avis du 15 février dernier4, le Ministère de la Justice a indiqué que, conformément au principe de responsabilité pénale des personnes morales pour les infractions commises pour leur compte par leurs organes ou représentants, les avis de contravention de non-désignation devaient être adressés aux personnes morales.

Ainsi, l'employeur personne morale a tout intérêt à désigner les salariés de son entreprise contrevenant au Code de la route avec leurs véhicules de fonction puisque la sanction financière peut s'avérer conséquente en cas de pluralité de non-désignation et représenter une charge conséquente pour les petites et moyennes entreprises.

Les lacunes de la réforme

L'objectif annoncé de la réforme est d'améliorer la sécurité routière et de responsabiliser les conducteurs salariés.

Il peut toutefois apparaître dommageable qu'un laps de temps plus important n'ait pas été laissé aux employeurs pour s'adapter à ces nouvelles règles. Ceci aurait notamment pu permettre aux sociétés mettant à disposition des véhicules en vue d'un usage collectif de mettre en place un système d'identification des différents salariés conducteurs.

Davantage, la réforme semble uniquement faire peser l'obligation de désignation sur l'employeur pendant le délai de 45 jours susvisé, et non après l'expiration de celui-ci.

En effet, à la lecture des textes, passé ce délai de 45 jours, il semble que l'employeur ne peut plus régulariser la situation et doit se contenter de payer l'amende, sans désigner le salarié ayant contrevenu au Code de la route.

Ainsi, si l'obligation de désignation disparaît dès le paiement de l'amende, ceci impliquerait que les employeurs garderaient la possibilité de choisir de ne pas dénoncer l'un de leurs salariés, si celui-ci est par exemple menacé de perdre son permis de conduire.

Le double objectif d'amélioration de la sécurité routière et de responsabilisation des conducteurs salariés ne semble donc pas encore pleinement atteint.

Footnotes

1 Loi n°2016-1547 du 18 novembre 2016 de modernisation de la justice du XXIe siècle

2 Décret n° 2016-1955 du 28 décembre 2016 portant application des dispositions des articles L.121-3 et L.130-9 du Code de la route

3 Le dépassement des vitesses maximales autorisées ; le non-respect des signalisations imposant l'arrêt d'un véhicule ; l'usage d'un téléphone portable tenu en main ; l'oubli du port de la ceinture de sécurité ; l'excès de vitesse ; l'usage de voies et chaussées réservées à certaines catégories de véhicules ; le non-respect des distances de sécurité ; le franchissement et le chevauchement des lignes continues ; le non-respect des règles de dépassements ; l'engagement dans un espace réservé ; l'arrêt, le stationnement ou la circulation sur les bandes d'arrêt d'urgence ; l'absence de souscription à une assurance et, s'agissant des véhicule à deux roues, le manquement à l'obligation du port de casque homologué.

4 Question écrite n°01091 de M. Jean Louis Masson (Moselle – NI) publiée dans le JO Sénat du 31/08/2017 page 2746 et Réponse du Ministère de la justice publiée dans le JO Sénat du 15/02/2018 page 679

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