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Former French legislator arrested after speeding through cycle lane under the influence of cocaine to escape police

The former member of the National Assembly Joachim Son-Forget was driving at excessive speeds and refused to slow down when the police followed him

Former French legislator Joachim Son-Forget has been arrested after a high-speed chase down the bike lanes of Paris after he refused to comply with the police who alerted him to slow down — all while under the influence of cocaine.

Son-Forget, who served as a deputy, or member of the National Assembly from 2017 to 2022, was driving his Mercedes at a high speed in the 7th arrondissement of the French capital on the afternoon of 15 June. This was noticed by on-patrol police officers who them wanted to carry out a check on the driver.

The officers activated the patrol car’s flashing lights to alert him. However, Son-Forget didn’t slow down and then suddenly made a U-turn, hitting a parked vehicle in the process. He continued to flee, taking to a cycle lane where cyclists were riding at the time before the police finally managed to block his path and take him under arrest.

Following the arrest, French news website reports that his drug test came positive, with 0.7 grams of cocaine found in his body. The South Korean-born French politician is now being charged with “refusing to comply with endangering the lives of others, failure to control his vehicle, driving while using drugs, and hit-and-run after a material accident”.

> "Traffic on road? Just use a cycle lane": Motorist facing court after speeding through segregated bike lane

He will stay under judicial supervision while awaiting his trial scheduled for the end of August, and could face five years in prison and a fine of up to €75,000.

Cycle lanes in Paris (image by Mikael Colville-Andersen on Flickr, licensed via CC BY-NC 2.0)

Cycle lanes in Paris (image by Mikael Colville-Andersen on Flickr, licensed via CC BY-NC 2.0)

This isn’t the first time that Son-Forget, who initially launched his political career with the left-wing Socialist Party before switching to the far-right party Reconquête, has found himself mired in controversy.

The politician, who holds a Kosovar citizenship and works as a part-time radiologist in Switzerland, has previously published satirical content and memes on social media, in what has been described as “trolling” by many and drawn criticisms from fellow politicians.

In 2020, Son-Forget’s Twitter account appeared to be impersonating president Macron, posting satire and memes. He later changed his account back to normal, claiming that someone had maliciously used his account.

A similar incident happened in January 2021 after Twitter's permanent account suspension of Donald Trump, when Son-Forget edited his account to impersonate Trump. Twitter subsequently suspended Son-Forget's own account.

> Sharp rise in cyclist deaths on country roads in France blamed on “increasingly aggressive” drivers

This is also not the first time we’ve seen drivers taking their four wheels to the bike lanes for a spin. Last year, a shocking video emerged showing a driver speeding through a newly-built cycle lane in Coventry to avoid a long queue of traffic. West Midlands Police later confirmed that the driver had been identified and was facing charges.

And in Edinburgh, just weeks after bollards from a cycle lane were removed, councillors decided to reinstall them after criticising the "depressing lawlessness" of motorists who continuously drove down the then-unprotected cycle lane.

Meanwhile, a report from last year showed that “increasingly aggressive” drivers are behind a big rise in deaths of people riding bikes in France, with an organisation representing cyclists in the country urging that a road safety forum be put in place to address the issue.

Adwitiya joined in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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beatlumber | 4 weeks ago
1 like

I dare say this whole incident is something he will not Son-Forget

andystow | 4 weeks ago

His name in French is Fils-Oublier.

marmotte27 replied to andystow | 4 weeks ago

J'aurais dit Fils de P...

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