Friday, 13 May 2011

New Road Safety Measures in France

As a result of an increase in road deaths seen so far this year on French roads (an increase of 20% in April and more than 10% overall since the start of the year), the French government has decided to tighten up on road safety and appears to have introduced the following measures. (from my translations of French websites - please correct me if I am wrong !) If you are planning on driving in France this summer then its important to be aware of these as they may affect you. The most severe sanctions are against alcohol and speeding, 

Using a cell phone while driving will be penalised and if you are caught holding a cell phone and using it while driving will now mean you get 3 points on your license instead of 2 points.
Drink-driving will be severely punished due to its being responsible for many traffic accidents. If a driver is arrested with a blood alcohol above 0.8 g / l, 8 points will be put onto their driver's license, currently it is 6 points. The alcohol limit is also to be lowered I believe to 0.2 g / liter. So basically avoid drinking if you plan to drive.

Fixed Speed camera position will now not be publicised on roadside signs and detection radars are to be banned in cars. I believe this excludes the type that is integral to a sat nav or gps system though. However any radar equipment which is purely for speed camera detection is now banned and also banned from sale.
It will now be regarded as a crime if break the speed limit in a 50 km/h limit zone.

Reference :

Update at 25th May 2011 : Confusion reigns about whether to remove the speed camera/radar warning signs from the roadsides in France. A number have already been removed. However they often have the effect of acting as traffic calming measures although I am sure we all know how drivers slow down when they see these signs !

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