New French Law from July 2008
Warning Triangle and Reflective Vests
Motoring law in France and most other European Countries now requires all vehicles to carry a Warning Triangle and Reflective Vests, for drivers AND passengers, for use in the event of breakdowns or emergencies.
If travelling onto Spain then TWO triangles will be required.
When travelling in France check what items of motoring equipment are required.
- Headlamp Beam Adaptors
- GB Plate
- Spare Bulbs
- Warning Triangle
- Reflective Vest
Strongly Advisable Items
- First Aid Kit
- Fire Extinguisher
Other important info
Speed Limit - km/hr (mph)
Motorways (toll) Motorways (non toll) Major roads outside towns Built-up areas
130 (81) 110 (68) 90 (56) 50 (31)
With car & trailer over 3.5 tonnes: 110 (68)
For visting new drivers (full licence for less than 2 years): 110 (68)
- Motorways overtaking lane, minimum speed 80 km/hr (50 mph)
- Motorways in rain, maximum speed 110 km/hr (68 mph)
- Visibility < 50 metres, maximum speed 50 km/hr (31 mph)
- Compulsory in front seats and rear seats if fitted.
- Under 10 years must be in the rear using an approved seat or harness.
- Up to nine months can be in an approved rear facing seat in the front.
- Most motorways are toll roads "autoroutes a peage".
- Because of their private financing, prices per km can vary.
- Take a ticket on entering, and produce it later for payment according to the distance travelled.
Warning: the time of issue is printed on the ticket. Paying for it 2 hours later, 300 kilometres down the road, it is not difficult for a machine to work out that you must have been exceeding the speed limit!! If the police are checking that section of motoway you will be fined!
- Sometimes you can enter without a ticket, and pay a set amount on leaving.
- Emergency phones (orange) are located every 2km
- Parking and resting, toilets and picnic areas, are every 10 or 20 km.
Drinking and Driving
- The level of alcohol in the blood must be below 0.5 g/l.
- Random breath tests are frequent.
- Drink Driving fines range from approx £95 to £3000.
Minimum Tyre Depth
- Police are authorised to impose and collect fines on the spot, but they must issue a receipt for amount paid.
- Speeding offences attract an on the spot fine of up to approx £500.
- Violation of traffic regulations attract on the spot fine up to approx £250.
- Disregarding safety precautions resulting in injury or death to a another person could result in very high penalties - approx £10,000 for causing slight injuries.
- A Blue Zone system operates in major towns, discs available from police, tourist offices and tobacconists.
- Parking meters and Pay and Display systems also operate.
- Wheel clamps and the impounding of cars are likely for illegally parked cars especially in Paris.
Emergency Phone Numbers
- Police 112
- Fire Service 112
- Ambulance 112
- Use dipped headlights at night, never drive on sidelights alone.
- Flashing your headlights means I am going first, not I give way!
- Horns to be used for emergencies only.
- Flashing amber on traffic lights means proceed with caution.