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New French Regulations...


griff 585

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From the 31st. March it is planned that whilst driving in France you will have to carry a self breathalising kit along with your headlight deflectors, set of spare bulbs, jerkins H.V., first-aid kit, warning triangle, fire extinguisher and GB plate. Don't forget tyres on each axle must be identical . Oh yes a warning board on cyclces on a rear mounted rack. Other than that its ideal for camping cars (Motorhomes elsewhere) *-) Griff

P.S.. Nearly forgot...The "drink-drive" limit is less than half of that in the UK.. i.e. 1 medium glass of wine(25cl) or a glass of beer....Makes you think !!!!!!!!!!!

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Mike B. - 2012-02-19 7:50 PM

 

Hi

Does the Breathaliser law apply to Motorcycles as well? I know you can't drink etc but jusy wondered how we are supposed to carry them.

Also do you know if the new law regarding wearing of High Vis jackets for motorcylists was made compulsory?

Mike

Don't know about bikes and the breath job. I ride a BMW and havn't been informed of that rule yet. ( Will keep you posted) H.V jackets not yet compulsory. It seems that the rule will be a based on an area of reflective covering and most quality jackets cover this with the reflective strips. Again will post notice when it is confirmed. *-) Griff

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My understanding is that, from April 1 2012 (Poisson d'Avril), all vehicles travelling in France must have a pennant on their radio-aerials carrying the words “Carla Bruni - je t'adore.”

 

Current French regulations demand that UK-registered vehicles travelling in that country must carry

 

- one high-visibility reflective waistcoat/jacket

 

- one warning triangle

 

- a GB plate

 

None of the remaining ‘must carries’ specified by griff 585 are legally mandatory at present, and the tyres on each axle of a UK-registered vehicle do not need to be identical.

 

The drink-driving Blood/Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limits for France and the UK are respectively:

 

France: 0.05%, 0,08% (aggravated)

 

United Kingdom: 0.08%

 

Hence, the 'basic' French BAC limit is about 38% lower than the UK's.

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griff 585 - 2012-02-19 7:19 PM

 

Mike B. - 2012-02-19 7:50 PM

 

Hi

Does the Breathaliser law apply to Motorcycles as well? I know you can't drink etc but jusy wondered how we are supposed to carry them.

Also do you know if the new law regarding wearing of High Vis jackets for motorcylists was made compulsory?

Mike

Don't know about bikes and the breath job. I ride a BMW and havn't been informed of that rule yet. ( Will keep you posted) H.V jackets not yet compulsory. It seems that the rule will be a based on an area of reflective covering and most quality jackets cover this with the reflective strips. Again will post notice when it is confirmed. *-) Griff

 

Thanks Griff

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Regarding the French authorities' demand that vehicles being driven in France must carry a breathalyser, an introduction-date of March 31 2012 (advertised towards the end of last year) has been chosen . It would appear, however, that this date is far from set in stone and may be postponed if it becomes evident that there are inadequate supplies of suitable single-use chemical breathalysers on the French market to meet the demand (estimated at 40 million units).

 

There's a useful summary of the situation here

 

http://www.ouest-france.fr/actu/actuDet_-Le-31-mars-un-ethylotest-dans-chaque-voiture_39382-2029571_actu.Htm

 

It's worth noting that a longish period of grace (6 months?) will be allowed following the regulation's introduction-date. During this period the French police will be warning, but not prosecuting, any driver found not to have an appropriate breathalyser in his/her vehicle.

 

I can't find any indication that the French breathalyser regulations will not apply to motorcyclsts, though it's plain some guidance should be issued as to how the breathalyser should be carried. I would have thought commonsense should prevail in any case and, if you are a biker riding in France and are asked by a French policeman to produce a breathalyser, if you are carrying the thing in a pannier, tank-bag, or stuck down the front of your underpants, as long as you've got one that should be enough.

 

Regarding the introduction of regulations relating to obligatory reflective clothing for motorcyclist riding in France, the rules are summarised here:

 

http://www.moto-station.com/article12936-equipement-retroreflechissant-et-brassard-moto-obligatoire-en-2013.html

 

An introduction date NO LATER than 1 January 2013 is stated.

 

 

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griff 585 - 2012-02-19 5:03 PM

 

Don't forget tyres on each axle must be identical .

 

I have a French registered car with different make tyres on the same axle (both radial though - I think!) and it has passed the Controle Technique test several times despite the local mechanic warning me.

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michele - 2012-02-20 6:43 PM

 

So where do you buy this breath thingy ?. Halfords?.

 

Doubt if Halfords will stock them for a while (and a UK-standard one will have the wrong limit-reading) , but you can buy them on-line.

 

http://drugs-and-alcohol.co.uk/index.php/category/breathalyzer-kits-france/

 

http://www.value-breathalysers.co.uk/acatalog/copy_of_BreathScan_Disposable_Alcohol.html

 

 

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But then the EU and notably France are trying to pass a law that stops you customising your bike from the stock parts. As Panniers, Back Boxes and Tank bags are all accessories and my protective clothes (Complete with High Viz reflectors) are tight to afford protection to body and joints with plates etc, there is not enough room in my underpants to secure said Breathaliser kit. Nor would there be room between my nether regions and the fuel tank! Can't stick it on the fairing as this would reduce my visibility nor on the hugger because this is also an 'add-on'

In the words of Cpl Jones-Don't Panic, Don't Panic But what am I to do??????

 

 

 

Derek Uzzell - 2012-02-20 8:28 AM

 

Regarding the French authorities' demand that vehicles being driven in France must carry a breathalyser, an introduction-date of March 31 2012 (advertised towards the end of last year) has been chosen . It would appear, however, that this date is far from set in stone and may be postponed if it becomes evident that there are inadequate supplies of suitable single-use chemical breathalysers on the French market to meet the demand (estimated at 40 million units).

 

There's a useful summary of the situation here

 

http://www.ouest-france.fr/actu/actuDet_-Le-31-mars-un-ethylotest-dans-chaque-voiture_39382-2029571_actu.Htm

 

It's worth noting that a longish period of grace (6 months?) will be allowed following the regulation's introduction-date. During this period the French police will be warning, but not prosecuting, any driver found not to have an appropriate breathalyser in his/her vehicle.

 

I can't find any indication that the French breathalyser regulations will not apply to motorcyclsts, though it's plain some guidance should be issued as to how the breathalyser should be carried. I would have thought commonsense should prevail in any case and, if you are a biker riding in France and are asked by a French policeman to produce a breathalyser, if you are carrying the thing in a pannier, tank-bag, or stuck down the front of your underpants, as long as you've got one that should be enough.

 

Regarding the introduction of regulations relating to obligatory reflective clothing for motorcyclist riding in France, the rules are summarised here:

 

http://www.moto-station.com/article12936-equipement-retroreflechissant-et-brassard-moto-obligatoire-en-2013.html

 

An introduction date NO LATER than 1 January 2013 is stated.

 

:-(
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Patricia - 2012-02-20 4:25 PM

 

griff 585 - 2012-02-19 5:03 PM

 

Don't forget tyres on each axle must be identical .

 

I have a French registered car with different make tyres on the same axle (both radial though - I think!) and it has passed the Controle Technique test several times despite the local mechanic warning me.

 

 

Lets hope you don't have an accident...No insurance as its a documented offence.....

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griff 585 - 2012-02-20 8:30 PM

 

Patricia - 2012-02-20 4:25 PM

 

griff 585 - 2012-02-19 5:03 PM

 

Don't forget tyres on each axle must be identical .

 

I have a French registered car with different make tyres on the same axle (both radial though - I think!) and it has passed the Controle Technique test several times despite the local mechanic warning me.

 

 

Lets hope you don't have an accident...No insurance as its a documented offence.....

 

 

The French Contrôle Technique requirements for French-registered-vehicle tyres are summarised here:

 

http://www.pneus-online.fr/reglementation-conseils.html

 

The UK MOT-test requirements for UK-registered-vehicle tyres are given here:

 

http://www.ukmot.com/4-1.asp

 

A comparison between the French and UK regulations will reveal rule-differences, but there's clearly no stipulation in the French CT regulations (and remember that these regulations apply specifically to FRENCH-registered vehicles) that tyres on the same axle should be IDENTICAL.

 

An 'identical tyre' rule would mean that all tyres on the same axle would need to be the same type, make, pattern and bear the same manufacturing date. The French regulations are much less stringent than that, making no mention of tyre make, pattern or age and permitting significant latitude in tread-depth between same-axle tyres.

 

A number of the things Griff mentions in his original posting (eg. breathalyser, headlamp beam-pattern adjustment) have been discussed in depth on this forum recently. Others (reflective waistcoat/jacket, warning triangle, GB/IRL Nationality Plate) are covered in the 2012/2013 Caravan Club "Caravan Europe - France" guidebook, that it would be a good idea for all motorcaravanners visiting France to have. There's also a useful guide here:

 

http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/touring_tips/france-monaco.pdf

 

My understanding is that carrying spare vehicle light-bulbs is not a French legal requirement, but it's certainly a sensible thing to do. See

 

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=15782&posts=10

 

Despite reading in a 2011 French motorhome magazine that carrying a 2kg dry-powder fire-extinguisher is a legal requirement for FRENCH-REGISTERED motorhomes driving in France, I'm wary of that statement . A Good Idea - Yes: a legal requirement - I don't think so. Anyway, it is very definitely NOT a legal requirement for UK-registered motorhomes visiting France to carry a fire-extinguisher (just good sense).

 

A "warning board on cycles on a rear mounted rack" is needed when driving in Italy and Spain, but not while driving in France.

 

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=26134&posts=9

 

I hesitate to say this, but most of this thread has involved attempting to sort fact from half-truth and fiction from apparently authoritative advice offered in good faith. Accurate information is always welcome, but inaccurate advice just leads to confusion, and correction that is often not appreciated by the advisor. See

 

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=26329&posts=15

 

 

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In the Mail on-line there is a statement re Sat-Navs and Breathalisers. This article gives dates for application and suggestions for the fines to be applied.

If the mail has got it correct, then people like me with a Garmin 650 FM which cannot be updated (the camera location merely either switched on or off) are stuffed. This because just carrying this type of Sat nav, even though not in use causes the offence.

We always have maps open in the cab for navigation and the route written out on a sheet of paper for the Navigator to follow. The Satnav providing backup. So that if pulled over, I intend to quickly remove the Satnav, then deny having a Satnav onboard and show any French police the maps/paper that we use for navigation.

Hopefully we will be deemed to be prehistoric for not using satnav and be sent on our merry way. Unless someone on here has a better idea ??

 

Mike

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mike 202 - 2012-02-21 12:15 PM

 

In the Mail on-line there is a statement re Sat-Navs and Breathalisers. This article gives dates for application and suggestions for the fines to be applied.

If the mail has got it correct, then people like me with a Garmin 650 FM which cannot be updated (the camera location merely either switched on or off) are stuffed. This because just carrying this type of Sat nav, even though not in use causes the offence.

We always have maps open in the cab for navigation and the route written out on a sheet of paper for the Navigator to follow. The Satnav providing backup. So that if pulled over, I intend to quickly remove the Satnav, then deny having a Satnav onboard and show any French police the maps/paper that we use for navigation.

Hopefully we will be deemed to be prehistoric for not using satnav and be sent on our merry way. Unless someone on here has a better idea ??

 

Mike

 

The recently-revised French regulations regarding in-vehicle devices that can provide 'speed-camera' alerts is something else that's been well-discussed on this forum during the last couple of months.

 

As you are probably aware, Garmin offers two possible options for making their sat-nav devices compliant with the revised regulations. Option One (not applicable to all Garmin devices) would be a software download that 'converts' precise information about speed-camera locations into more general 'danger zone' warnings. Option Two (and the only option currently available for your nuvi 650 device) would be to disable the speed-camera alerts-feature through the sat-nav's touch-screen menu.

 

Doubts have been expressed as to whether Option Two does actually make the sat-nav device fully compliant with the revised French regulations and Garmin has been contacted about this by several forum-members.

 

Garmin's response has been to provide advice (essentially an Option Three) on how to delete from the sat-nav device the specific file that contains the precise French speed-camera location-data . It's a simple enough exercise and I presume it can be performed on your 650. Once the appropriate file has been deleted, there's no doubt whatsoever that the sat-nav will comply with the revised regulations.

 

Garmin's advice is as follws:

 

1. Connect the sat-nav device to the PC

2. Click Start/ Windows (Ignore on Mac)

3. Click Computer/ MyComputer (Ignore on Mac)

4. Open the Garmin Disk Drive

5. Open the Garmin Folder

6. Open the POI Folder

7. Delete the France Cyclops File

 

For more on this, read through the following thread

 

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=26470&start=1

 

I assume this is the Mail Online article you read:

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2104024/Now-French-say-holidaymakers-carry-breathalyser-kit-car.html

 

(Jeez - what crap the Mail publishes!!!)

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Griff seems to assume because he lives in France, not for long I would guess, no one else has ever been their or knows anything about it. He also assumes, wrongly, that because he lives their he is the local authority on it. For anyone who has not looked he commented on gas over in the camping banter forum, again giving advice that is plain wrong. Like others I always appreciate any information given out on here but if it is wrong, and someone knows it is, then a 'putting the record straight' does no harm.
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Guest 1footinthegrave
Caroline - 2012-02-21 4:29 PM

 

michele - 2012-02-20 6:43 PM

 

So where do you buy this breath thingy ?. Halfords?.

 

We got ours from Ebay about £4.99, tiny thing and you will require batteries..... (lol)

 

Or here, I don't think these need batteries though,

 

http://www.valuebreathalysers.co.uk/acatalog/SINGLE_USE_BREATHALYSERS.html

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mike 202 - 2012-02-21 12:15 PM

 

In the Mail on-line there is a statement re Sat-Navs and Breathalisers. This article gives dates for application and suggestions for the fines to be applied.

If the mail has got it correct, then people like me with a Garmin 650 FM which cannot be updated (the camera location merely either switched on or off) are stuffed. This because just carrying this type of Sat nav, even though not in use causes the offence.

We always have maps open in the cab for navigation and the route written out on a sheet of paper for the Navigator to follow. The Satnav providing backup. So that if pulled over, I intend to quickly remove the Satnav, then deny having a Satnav onboard and show any French police the maps/paper that we use for navigation.

Hopefully we will be deemed to be prehistoric for not using satnav and be sent on our merry way. Unless someone on here has a better idea ??

 

Mike

 

My French neighbours think you must be suicidal to consider trying to fool the French police. They are very happy to inconvenience and arrest British drivers if given an excuse. Additionally, have you ever thought that the police vans may very well have bluetooth technology that can lock on to a signal from your sat-nav?

 

I was stopped this afternoon by two French police (in GB registered car). First question, "Are you on holiday?". What has that to do with anything? Told them I had a holiday home nearby. "Do you speak French?" "Where are the papers for the car?" All this because he maintained that I had not stopped dead at the stop sign (which I knew I had definitely done and there was no way he could have seen the stop sign from their position anyway!). Had to listen to a lecture from someone a good 50 years my junior, all the while apologising, grrrrr ! It all ended well for me with Gallic chivalry but make very sure not to attenpt to argue with them. Apart from anything else, they are all armed and only need an excuse to draw their pistols - seen it many times!!

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1footinthegrave - 2012-02-21 6:36 PM

 

Caroline - 2012-02-21 4:29 PM

 

michele - 2012-02-20 6:43 PM

 

So where do you buy this breath thingy ?. Halfords?.

 

We got ours from Ebay about £4.99, tiny thing and you will require batteries..... (lol)

 

Or here, I don't think these need batteries though,

 

http://www.valuebreathalysers.co.uk/acatalog/SINGLE_USE_BREATHALYSERS.html

 

Don't forget that, whatever breathalyser you obtain, it should be appropriate for the French BAC limit. Of the 3 types shown on 1foot's link, it's the 0.05%BAC version you'll need.

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Hi Derek

I had a look on the link, but can not follow it

Could you point me to the correct one. please.

Do they come in packs? Would one be enough, or should you carry more? As I assume once used it is no good again

Thanks in advance

Pauline

 

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