More than half (59%) of drivers are unfamiliar with a range of new driving regulations introduced this year in France, says RAC Europe.
Research carried out with 1,400 drivers found more than three-quarters (78%) were not aware the speed limit on France’s secondary ‘D’ roads was reduced from 1 July from 90kph to 80kph (55mph to 50mph), a move designed to reduce accidents.
Failure to comply could leave UK drivers with an awkward conversation with a gendarme – and a very unwelcome penalty of up to €750 (about £670), which is now all the more likely as fines can ‘follow’ drivers back home under an EU directive.
The new speed limit is just one of a range of measures that have been introduced by the French government to improve safety on its roads, in the face of figures which show rising numbers are being killed.
Less than a quarter of drivers (23%) knew that using headphones or earphones while driving in France was illegal, while only 28% were aware drivers must now switch their engines off in a designated parking place in order to use a handheld mobile phone. Any driver ignoring this law faces the prospect of at least a €135 (£120) fine. Fifty-nine per cent of all drivers questioned said they were not aware of any of these new regulations.
Nearly three in ten UK residents (29%) heading to Europe on holiday will be getting behind the wheel– equating to 15 million people embarking on European road trips in the next 12 months.
While the majority of them are organised when it comes to their car insurance on the continent, new research from Sainsbury’s Bank reveals that many are unaware of specific driving laws in Europe.
While the top three countries for driving holidays are Spain (28%), France (27%) and Italy (11%), just 7% of holidaymakers know that the law requires you to have an extra pair of glasses for driving in Spain.
Less than a fifth (15%) are aware that in France a breathalyser kit should be in their car at all times. In France it’s also illegal to use a speed camera alert device so it should be switched off when you cross over the Channel.