New rules come into force as at July 2015 for drivers and cyclists in France. You need to be aware of them since breaking the rules unwittingly won’t save you from being fined or worse, you could have your vehicle confiscated.
The full rules can be found at the Government website: www.securiteroutiere.gouv.fr
French Driving Rules 2015
The use of headsets in cars and bikes is now illegal, that includes phone headsets, and ear buds, ear pieces that are part of a hands-free phone kit. Use them and risk a fine of 135€ and 3 points on your licence. In-car sets that don’t require a headset/earpiece are still permitted.
The French government are aiming to clamp down on the number of road accidents in France following an increase in recorded incidents in 2014.
Here are some of the main rules:
Drive while under the influence of drugs you will be fined 4,500€ fine + 6 points in your licence
Alcohol limits are 0.5g/l but for new drivers there is a reduction to 0.2g/l. New drivers are classified as anyone who passed their test within the last 3 years. Break the law and you will elicit a 4,500€ fine + 6 points
Clunk click every trip – if you don’t wear your seat belt you face a 135€ fine + 3 points
Watch a screen which is not a driving aid for instance a DVD and you could be made to pay 1500€ fine + 3 points
Use your phone manually while driving, for instance texting and you’ll be fined 135€ + 3 points
Use headphones (either in ear or external) means 135€fine + 3 points – this applies to all road users, car, bike, quad bike etc.
You also have to carry in your vehicle a number of obligatory items – see our driving check list here.
Until now British drivers in France have avoided some fines and points as their details have not been available for follow up. However this is all set to change from 2017 when the DVLA will make British drivers’ details available to French authorities.
More on driving in France plus advice on how to deal with accidents and break downs.