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New French Law


natdoor
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I have heard that the French are introducing a law to the effect that from July every motorist must carry a breathalyser. I can'treally see how this will impact on the awful accident rate in France. Don't traffic policemen carry breathalysers? Are pedestrians to be allowed to stop a car and demand that the driver takes a test? Or is one supposed breathalyse oneself before settingout or on resuming a journey after a sojourn at a hostelry?

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Forum Editor

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"All those Frenchies smell of garlic anyway"

When were you last in France?

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Forum Editor

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"I will also be curious to see who will be targeted in checks for these things:french or non french drivers."

The French Police carry out random stops for breath tests, and the vast majority of these happen in rural areas. I've never been stopped, and I've driven in France, on and off, for many years. I once lived and worked in Paris for six months, and during that time I heard of several random tests on French colleagues - one of whom was convicted.

I think the French Police have better things to do than single out foreign visitors for alcohol tests.

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natdoor

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I fully support the concept of alerting drivers to the possibility that they are over limit. And also for tougher sentencing for drink-driving. I just don't think that it is appropriate to enforce having a breathalyser on drivers who would never do that, for example teetotallers. Nor do I think it will have any impact on those who currently ignore the law. There is perhaps some merit in encouraging responsible drivers to have access to a breathalyser so that they can check that they meet the legal requirement before driving. But this does not require a law for everyone to carry one.

As far as an in-car check is concerned, I seem to remember from my visits there that some cars in the States required a PIN to be inserted on an in-built number pad in one attempt and in a limited time before the ignition became active. I was possible to override this for emergencies but resulted in headlights and hazard lights flashing. Encountering such a situation, the police would either arrest or escort to hospital etc. as appropriate. I don't think that this system survived, or possibly it was only muted and never adopted.

Bingalau, I believe that it will apply to visitors to France.

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wee eddie

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All this fuss about equipping a £15,000.00 Vehicle with £20.00 worth of Equipment, which will tell you if it is safe for you to drive, should you have any doubts.

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Forum Editor

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"So you've never been to milan then?"

Or driven on the section of the A4 Autoroute between the Paris Périphérique and the A86 ring road. Traffic volumes on that stretch have exceeded a quarter of a million vehicles a day, and it's said to be Europe's busiest road. I've been driving one of those quarter of a million vehicles on several occasions, and can confirm that it tests your sanity to the limit.

A study by Inrix, the traffic management company rates Paris as having the worst traffic problem in Europe, followed closely by London. If you fancy seeing heavy traffic to beat all heavy traffic in the UK, spend some time (not for the faint-hearted) on the stretch of the M25 that runs past Heathrow airport between junctions 13 and 14. Traffic flows of 196,000 vehicles a day are not uncommon.

Then there's the Autobahn Südosttangente Wien, known to its friends as the A23 near Vienna. Traffic volumes there have exceeded 200,000 vehicles a day.

By comparison, traffic volumes in the Hamburg area make it a haven of peace, rarely exceeding 50,000 vehicles a day on the main roads. I have no experience of the city centre, however.

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wee eddie

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I've never got over Etoilé, in a Deux-Chevaux, sometime about '61 or '62.

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john bunyan

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Wee eddie I agree re Etoilé in Paris in the rush hour. I was in a new Ford Mondeo in the mid '70's. Not so much the volume, but the sheer number of incoming roads and an unfamiliar right of way system!

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Forum Editor

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"....an unfamiliar right of way system!"

When I lived in Paris I had to drive along the Champs Elysée every day - in the rush hour. The first time I negotiated the traffic circle at the Arc de triomphe I thought I was entering some kind of hell - a dozen roads all converging in one great maelstrom of a roundabout.

My French colleague shouted instructions, the chief one of which was 'point the car where you want to go, and try not to deviate, no matter how big the bus is'. I eventually got the hang of it, once I realised that a few scratches are inevitable, and that French Insurers do not apportion blame in any accident at that location - it is automatically assumed that both drivers are equally at fault, and damage payments are split on a 50/50 basis.

On a hot summer evening the tension is immense, and the shouting must be heard to be believed. Once you've mastered the Avenue des Champs Elysee and the Arc you really feel you can hold your head high in Paris driving circles.

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WhiteTruckMan

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FE-

We appear to have different experiences of french law enforcement.

But then, we do drive different vehicles.

However, you are correct about paris. Parisians are going to get from A to B in the most direct route possible, and nothing or no one is going to get in their way. (the milanese merely take the fastest route, not the shortest)

WTM

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Bingalau

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morddwyd. I always carry those items in my car anyway. By the way have you ever driven in Singapore or Hong-Kong? I have five years driving in Singapore under my belt, only a couple of months in Hong-Kong, but both places have to be experienced.

I don't know what the punishment is for drunk driving in Singapore, but imagine it to be pretty severe.

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