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Driving In France Driving Laws You Need To Know

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 6 Aug 2018

France may be one of the most popular destinations for UK motorists heading abroad but a poll has revealed many of us are worryingly ignorant of the French driving laws.

I mentioned the laws covering the use of satnavs with speed camera alerts last week but a recent survey has revealed that more than half the drivers polled were unable to name any of the items you are legally required to carry, this despite those polled having driven in Europe recently!

Only quarter knew a high viz jacket was required for each occupant whereas a third were aware of the requirement to carry an approved breathalyser.

The poll by Alcosense found drivers were just as ignorant when it came to those items that UK-registered cars must carry on their exterior such as a GB sticker (or GB symbol on the number plate) and headlamp beam deflectors.

Some French cities such as Paris, Lyon and Grenoble are designated low emission zones, where the most polluting vehicles are either banned or charged an access fee. Only a quarter of British motorists (27%) thought that specific action was required when driving in these cities.

But, when even those drivers were asked what that action was, two-thirds didn’t have a clue.  Just 28% thought some sort of ‘sticker’ was needed. French law states that a clean air sticker, called a Crit’Air vignette, must be displayed to identify what emissions your vehicle produces.  They cost about €3 – but failure to have one on your windscreen could result in a fine of €68.

AlcoSense polled 750 UK motorists who had driven to Europe in their own car in the past two years. If you're unsure, a checklist is available on the Drive-France website.

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Posted by b33jay on Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:43 pm Reply with quote

There is a difference between legislation and common sense.

The legislation requires only ONE hi-viz gilet for the driver. A warning triangle is a requirement also. Many cheaper versions of these items do not conform to the French specification.

Beam deflectors are not specified in legislation as French vehicle lighting will conform. Causing dazzle is an offence.

Spare bulbs are not a requirement but faulty lighting is an offence. Many bulbs now require partial dis-assembly to be replaced. Not a roadside job.

A breathalyser is required by legislation but the 11€ penalty for not having one has been revoked. It's now almost impossible to find anywhere in France selling them but, of course, there are UK suppliers with vested interests (like large unsold stock and are they in date?)

Spare specs are not a requirement but driving without specs when a licence is coded 01 for eyesight correction is an offence.

Posted by Kremmen on Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:55 pm Reply with quote

Best solution, don't go Very Happy

Garmin DS61 LMT-D (In the car)
Garmin 2599 LMT-D (Indoor test rig)
Viofo A119 V3

Posted by sussamb on Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:24 pm Reply with quote

Too late Smile

Where there's a will ... there's a way.

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