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New Rules on Driving in France in 2012
Whether you are a regular driver in France or planning your first trip with your car across the channel, it is vital to check the latest rules, as this year there has been some significant changes.
One of the most recent changes whilst driving on French soil was announced on 1 March 2012 when the government confirmed that from 1July 2012 all drivers of motor vehicles and motorcycles must carry a breathalyser. The plan is to enforce this regulation from 1 November 2012 with anyone failing to produce a breathalyser after that date receiving an on the spot fine of 11 euros.
It is advised to carry a couple of single use breathalysers just in case one is damaged, they must also show the French certification mark NF and be in date which is usually 12 months.
Another significant French law brought is on 3 January 2012 is that drivers are no longer allowed to carry any speed camera-detecting device that advises where speed cameras are located. This includes satnav or gps systems that show speed cameras as Points of Interest, so if you have a satnav displaying French camera locations you must disable this. A manufacturer update will probably be available to remove camera data for France and is worth installing before you travel.
The French government will fine up to 1500 euros if caught, but also be aware that they are installing 400 new and unsigned speed cameras in addition to taking down signs indicating existing camera sites. So be warned and watch your speed!
If you plan to tour France on a motorbike, a new law for next year is that from the 1 January 2013 all drivers and passengers of a motorcycle over 125cc must wear reflective clothing when riding. This clothing must have a minimum reflective surface of 150cm2 and worn between the next and waist.
Whenever you travel in Europe it is important to carry all your documents in case you get stopped and are asked to produce them. This could avoid a fine from the Police and even having your car confiscated. These documents should include a Valid Full Driving Licence (including paper counterpart if you have a photocard licence), a V5c Vehicle Registration Document (the original not a copy), a Motor Insurance Certificate (http://compareinsurers.com/
Finally, remember to check with your car insurance provider (http://compareinsurers.com/