Driving Tips For France This Summer

Road safety charity the IAM has issued a timely update of Rules and Regulations for Driving in France in 2013.

Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger give some essential advice.

In France all drivers and motorcyclists (excluding mopeds) need to carry a breathalyser kit, with two disposable breathalysers. The breathalyser must meet the NF standards (similar to the BSI here in the UK) and carry an NF certification. The French government has postponed the fine for non compliance but you still have to have one.

Remember too, that the drink drive limit in France is lower than in the UK, 50mg compared to 80mg per 100ml of blood. If you’re driving, don’t drink, and beware the morning after effect.

On-the-spot fines or 'deposits' in France are severe. An official receipt should always be issued.

Vehicles parking contrary to regulations may be towed away and impounded.

Holders of EU driving licenses exceeding the speed limit by more than 40 km/h will have their licences confiscated on the spot by the police.

You are required to carry a warning triangle, reflective jacket, and convert your headlamps (if necessary) when driving in France. (Some cars have a switch; some dip down and do not need converting. See Switchable Dip.)

It is recommended that you carry spare light bulbs if you can fit them easily. (Carry a spare bulb kit anyway, even if you can't fit them.)

Driving on the right hand side of the road on unknown routes can be rather challenging. (If you lose your way and have to look at a map, you might set off again on the wrong side of the road.)

Take regular breaks, and always have a rest if you’re getting sleepy.

A child sitting in the front passenger seat must be at least 10 years old (or a baby up to 9 months in a rear-facing child seat).

While radar speed camera detectors are legal in the UK, in France they are illegal whether or not you are using them. This legislation includes satnav systems which show speed camera information. (Can usually be switched off by swithing off the POI function.)

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “The school holidays are fast approaching, and many people will be driving on the continent this summer. Driving abroad can be very different to driving at home, but preparation as always is the key. Make sure your car is fit for the journey, plan your route in advance, including fuel stops, and perhaps most importantly, remember your breathalysers.”

More at IAM


Alex    on 13 June 2013

You've put together a fantastic post here! If any of your readers are regular visitors to France, or are planning a longer journey through the country, they might be interested in the Liber-T tag from Sanef Tolling. The tag enables UK motorists to use the automatic telepeage lanes, which have previously been reserved for French residents. Find out more here: https://www.saneftolling.co.uk

Best wishes, Alex.

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