Driving in France

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mercalia
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Driving in France

Postby mercalia » 13 Aug 2019, 2:36pm

Seems like 75% of EU driving offences are in France

“They must take care not to exceed the speed limit – and carry a high viz jacket for every passenger, a warning triangle, spare bulbs, headlamp beam deflectors, a GB sticker and a single-use ‘NF approved’ breathalyser.”

No wonder. Didn't know about the last item.
What on earth is beam deflector? Due to them driving on the wrong side of the road?

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661-Pete
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Re: Driving in France

Postby 661-Pete » 13 Aug 2019, 3:53pm

Presumably that quote of you has a source: it might be a good idea to identify it?

Anyway, I can confirm the requirement for gilets jaunes, warning triangle, GB plate (unless incorporated in your number plate), and breathalyzer. This last (obtainable from Halfords etc.) you need to carry two of them, because if les flics stop you and insist you use one, you must still carry an unused one before they'll let you drive away.

Note also that the yellow vest must be stowed somewhere within reach of the driver. Putting it in the boot is not acceptable.

The spare bulbs, I believe that's still a requirement but probably not enforced: impracticable anyway since replacing a bulb on a modern car is often not a roadside job. As to deflectors: they're pieces of single-use plastic which you stick on your headlights. Sole purpose, on modern cars, is to block out the 'spike' of light to upper left which British cars emit in order to illuminate road signs on the left. I stopped fitting them, partly because on my present car I have no idea where they go. No-one has complained: no driver in France has complained of being dazzled (on the few occasions I've been driving after dark), and I haven't been pulled up over them. Yet.

Speed limits? You answer that one! There are plenty of radars in France.
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mercalia
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Re: Driving in France

Postby mercalia » 13 Aug 2019, 6:52pm

I think was the Guardian app on my mobile earlier today. It was about motoring offences in France with the UK at the top followed way down by Germans. Now at home cant seem to find the story.

maybe some one can confirm about the breathalyser?

Bsteel
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Re: Driving in France

Postby Bsteel » 13 Aug 2019, 6:59pm

From the AA.

"Breathalysers
In July 2012 the French announced that drivers must carry a breathalyser or, from November 2012, be fined €11. You still have to carry the breathalyser but the fine has been postponed twice and was shelved in January 2013. The breathalyser must be unused and show the French certification mark NF. It has to be in date too. Single-use breathalysers normally only last 12 months so check yours if you bought it for a trip last year and didn’t use it."
https://www.theaa.com/european-breakdown-cover/driving-in-europe/driving-in-france

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Driving in France

Postby PDQ Mobile » 13 Aug 2019, 10:27pm

It's a funny rule, that- "carry a breathalyzer".
The French have a different relationship to alcohol I know, but the only point I can see is a sort of "test yourself as you leave the restaurant" type use.
I can't see the average Briton having been involved in some incident saying to Pierre, "blow in here s'il vous plait"!!!
Police presumably carry a supply?

So bit of a unnecessary and expensive excess for non imbibing drivers? A scam even.

Regarding "radar"; last time I drove across France, a couple of months back, all the speed cameras I saw had either been covered over, painted over or torched!
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iandriver
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Re: Driving in France

Postby iandriver » 13 Aug 2019, 10:29pm

When you are riding on a cycle track at night that is on the same side of the road as the oncoming traffic and you are getting blinded, that's why you need beam deflectors.
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661-Pete
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Re: Driving in France

Postby 661-Pete » 13 Aug 2019, 10:50pm

iandriver wrote:When you are riding on a cycle track at night that is on the same side of the road as the oncoming traffic and you are getting blinded, that's why you need beam deflectors.
Sorry, that doesn't make sense. Deflectors can only be used on RHD vehicles, when driving in a drive-on-the-right country. They must not be used in UK. So no help there.
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mjr
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Re: Driving in France

Postby mjr » 13 Aug 2019, 11:21pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:It's a funny rule, that- "carry a breathalyzer".
The French have a different relationship to alcohol I know, but the only point I can see is a sort of "test yourself as you leave the restaurant" type use.
I can't see the average Briton having been involved in some incident saying to Pierre, "blow in here s'il vous plait"!!!
Police presumably carry a supply?

So bit of a unnecessary and expensive excess for non imbibing drivers? A scam even.

Regarding "radar"; last time I drove across France, a couple of months back, all the speed cameras I saw had either been covered over, painted over or torched!

Motorists do the same crimes everywhere and seem to get away with them.

The breathalyser law was indeed introduced by Sarkozy in a claimed hope that drivers would test themselves before driving using reusable electronic testers but what actually happened is the market has been dominated by cheaper single-use chemical ones. Unintended consequences. :(
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francovendee
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Re: Driving in France

Postby francovendee » 14 Aug 2019, 8:16am

The breathalizer law is ignored by every French person I know and none bother carrying one. A friend who drives for a living has been stopped a few times, once for speeding but mostly routine checks and never been asked for one. When the law was first passed you couldn't get one for love or money and today you can one in most supermarkets.

I'm surprised to hear that speeding tickets from France find you in the UK as a friend recently discovered.

Carrying spare bulbs is a joke, most cars need to have a bulb change done in a garage.

Many motoring laws are in place that get largely ignored, the most obvious one is the number of cars that only have one working headlight on a car that's been that way all winter.

Last year the gendarmes parked opposite our local bar, I guess hoping to see someone get in their car and breathalize them. After a chorus of 'F' offs from the drinkers they drove off :twisted:

iandriver
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Re: Driving in France

Postby iandriver » 14 Aug 2019, 9:16am

661-Pete wrote:
iandriver wrote:When you are riding on a cycle track at night that is on the same side of the road as the oncoming traffic and you are getting blinded, that's why you need beam deflectors.
Sorry, that doesn't make sense. Deflectors can only be used on RHD vehicles, when driving in a drive-on-the-right country. They must not be used in UK. So no help there.


When you take your left hand drive car and drive it on the right hand side of the road, you would be blinding the opposite lane rather than the kerb. Hence you must deflect the beam to the right hand rather than the left hand kerb. And why the Dutch put cycle tracks on both sides of the road.
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100%JR
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Re: Driving in France

Postby 100%JR » 14 Aug 2019, 9:33pm

We drive through France every year.I carry all the stuff they say you must and I've never been asked to produce anything other than my Drivers license :roll:
It's surprising just how many people pay the extortionate Ferry prices for the "essential driving in France" kit :lol:

I'm not sure whether you need headlight deflectors if you can adjust your beam from inside the car.I use them but the residue is a real pain to get off :x
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mercalia
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Re: Driving in France

Postby mercalia » 5 Sep 2019, 12:41pm

just heard on Radio 4 that the breatherliser is still needed but the fine has been removed :lol: :roll:

seems like speed camera detectors ( even in phones or gps units ) are illegal as are bluetooth headsets

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Re: Driving in France

Postby Vorpal » 5 Sep 2019, 12:45pm

Beam deflectors are only for driving British / Irish cars on the continent and vice versa. The French only require them for cars which have headlights adjusted for driving on the left side of the road.
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Psamathe
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Re: Driving in France

Postby Psamathe » 5 Sep 2019, 12:55pm

mercalia wrote:Seems like 75% of EU driving offences are in France

“They must take care not to exceed the speed limit – and carry a high viz jacket for every passenger, a warning triangle, spare bulbs, headlamp beam deflectors, a GB sticker and a single-use ‘NF approved’ breathalyser.”

No wonder. Didn't know about the last item.
What on earth is beam deflector? Due to them driving on the wrong side of the road?

I think most of those requirements are well publicised at the UK->France ferry ports. That said I've not crossed by car recently but when measures are introduced they are well publicised (if only because the ferry port/carriers want you to buy the stuff you've not got at their inflated prices).

Beam deflectors have been around for years - I remember fitting them years and years ago in the days I was driving "old bangers" - used to be two types (from memory) the big yellow things that covered the entire headlamp and then the little stickers you fit over specific bits of your headlamp.

I thought they drove on the right side of the road.

Ian