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Driving in France change in laws


Geoff Cole

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Hi fellows travellers,

In case you don't know, there is a change in the French law that comes into effect on July 1st as follows: All cars in France must be equipped with a flourescent waistcoat and warning triangle ( as is already required in Belgium, Italy and Spain- the latter requires 2 triangles).

 

Please note it is already and offence not to turn on the hazard warning lamps when immobilised by breakdown or accident.

 

Failure to comply with the new law will will result in a fine for each object missing.

 

It will also be compulsory for reflective jackets to be worn by cyclists riding outside built up areas after dark from the 1st September.

 

Most supermakets if France sell kits in a plactic or zip up boxes containing all the Items you require. I bought mine for about 18 Euros contains 2 triangles 2 foil blankets and 2 reflective jackets.

 

Like insurance its one of these things you need to have but hope you never need. hope you find this post use full. Geoff

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Hi,

 

Having just got back from spain I would also like to point out another not well known law.

 

If you witness an accident in Spain you are required by law to stop untill the police arrive. Do not drive on

 

In France if you witness an accident you must stop and render assistance ( good samaritan law ) do not drive on.

 

 

Richard

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Don Madge - 2008-04-15 11:19 AM

 

Hi Geoff,

 

Update, the fuorescent waistcoat is only necessary for the driver. no waistcoast = €90 fine no warning triangle = €90 Fine

 

Don

 

Just another bit of information. If the Gendarmes stop you and ask you to produce your documents, for every document you cannot produce the fine is €11 .

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Don Madge - 2008-04-15 10:19 AM

 

Hi Geoff,

 

Update, the fuorescent waistcoat is only necessary for the driver. no waistcoast = €90 fine no warning triangle = €90 Fine

 

Don

 

The legal requirement is to caryy one for the driver, but I think anyone who gets out of the vehicle onto the roadway has to wear one. If you've only got one, only one of you can get out!

 

Tony

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spencer - 2008-04-15 1:44 PM

 

I shall be travelling through France at the end of the month, I intend to take my driving license and insurance, what other documents would le gendarmerie like to see ?

 

Hi David, you'll have a great time. Driving over there is a breeze compared to our overcrowded roads.

I always take my V5 ("logbook"), and MoT if applicable. In other words, everything a UK cop could ask you to produce within 7 days. If you haven't got a lockable place in the van, keep this stuff (and your passport) with you if you leave on foot.

And although it's LE Gendarme, it's LA Gendarmerie - French is nearly as illogical as English! :-D

 

Tony

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Hi Spencer,

You should also take your original regestration documents and the purchase invoice to prove that you own the vehicle. Just be aware that all towns and villages are 50kph unless other wise stated its easy to get caught out by not slowing down fast enough, the Gendarmerie tend to set up speed traps near the village signs they are having a campaign against speeding and are setting speed traps and cameras all over France like the Uk its mainly just revenue collecting. If you get flashed by drivers coming towards you it probably means that you are approaching a speed trap, the French drivers are good at that. have a good journey regards Geoff.

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Hi Spencer,

You should also take your original regestration documents and the purchase invoice to prove that you own the vehicle. Just be aware that all towns and villages are 50kph unless other wise stated its easy to get caught out by not slowing down fast enough, the Gendarmerie tend to set up speed traps near the village signs they are having a campaign against speeding and are setting speed traps and cameras all over France like the Uk its mainly just revenue collecting. If you get flashed by drivers coming towards you it probably means that you are approaching a speed trap, the French drivers are good at that. have a good journey regards Geoff.

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w1ntersun - 2008-04-15 1:36 PM Hi, Having just got back from spain I would also like to point out another not well known law. If you witness an accident in Spain you are required by law to stop untill the police arrive. Do not drive on In France if you witness an accident you must stop and render assistance ( good samaritan law ) do not drive on. Richard

What to do about "pretend" accidents? We have come across a couple of these where we strongly believed we were being flagged down to "assist " folk who were planning to rob us. We kept going without repercussion. It's sometimes a difficult judgement to make.

Irene

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spencer - 2008-04-15 2:44 PM

 

I shall be travelling through France at the end of the month, I intend to take my driving license and insurance, what other documents would le gendarmerie like to see ?

 

My advice would be to take photocopies of every piece of paper regarding the purchase, insurance, registration and MOT. Make a couple of copies and keep the originals safe somewhere in the van or in your other half's handbag.

 

We have lived here for nearly 8 years and have been coming to France for 15 years before that and have only been stopped once. As long as you are sensible about things there is nothing to be aprehensive about.

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You could doo what we do - as a back-up I scan all our documents: passports (ours and dogs), insurance (vehicle & travel), ferry/tunnel booking documents, basically anything that we might need and then copy it all onto a small SD card (storage disc), I then put other info on this as well as to who we are, what ferry/tunnel we're booked on, our motorhome details (including that we have 2 dogs in it) and who to contact as next of kin. The SD card is kept in it's plastic holder which is clearly marked - 'read in an emergency' and is carried with me at all times. That way if there is a need we can soon pop into a shop and get the documents printed off if our originals are nicked. Also, if we are ever in an accident whilst away from the 'van and for some reason we are unable to tell them (ie unconscious etc) it has all the info on they should need. Saves having to carry about loads of bits of paper.
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Hi all,

The french police are watching out for stolen motorhomes from U.K and Ireland and the are very understanding but you do need to have some of your Doc' with you.

You should have the following:- Log book. (reg to you). Insurance. MOT (NCT). and Tax disc.

Flur'jackets for all on board, if they go on the road they must wear a jacket/vest. Safety Triangles. Spare bulbs. Headlight beam deflectors. and First Aid Kit.

And above all have a happy and safe holiday,

Irene you are correct this goes on in some areas of France but not all.

Regards,

Brendan.

 

 

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Though kindly Frech drivers coming towards you will often flash their headlights to warn of a speed trap, they are breaking the law by doing so. All the Gendarmes need to do is post someone with a camera 200 metres up stream of the speed trap and they'll collect a load more miscreants.

 

I strongly suggest, therefore, that you do not join the helpful 'flashers'.

 

Mel E

====

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Just for info

 

In Germany, it is an offence to leave the scene of an accident without police permission, if you are a first aider you must give first aid but if you are not you are not allowed too and lastly if you have a first aid kit which you should have, you must make it available for a first aider if requested

 

Geof

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