At the speed of 50kph of dry road, heavy goods vehicles need 44m to stop, and on a thin snow layer the distance equals at least 100m.
Traffic on a snowy road:
If a road has three or more lanes in one direction, it is forbidden for drivers of loaded heavy goods vehicles of over 3.5t MPW and of over 7m length to move on different lanes than the two extreme lanes, except for situations when they prepare to change the direction, with possibly lowest impediment for other drivers (Art. R 412-25 and R 414-17 of Highway Code).
Dipped headlights. Using dipped headlights in built-up area as well as outside built-up area are advised 24h for all engine vehicles.
Maximum blood – alcohol content – 0,05‰ except for drivers of public transport vehicles and coaches for which maximum blood – alcohol content is 0,02‰.
Detecting alcohol in blood in the limits:
- 0,05‰ – 0,08‰ – is fined from 135 Euro and 6 penalty points and possible withdrawal of the driving license for up to 3 years;
- Over 0,08‰ – may be penalized in the following ways: immediate withdrawal of the driving license for at least 72 hours; fine of up to 4.500 Euro; withdrawal of the driving license for 3 to 5 years; being imprisoned for up to 2 years; confiscation of the vehicle; to these 6 penalty points are added. Each sanction is increased in consequence of an accident involving seriously injured.
Drivers of public transport and coaches with over 0,02‰ of blood – alcohol content are fined with 135 Euro, 6 penalty points and withdrawal of the driving license for up to 3 years.
Driving under the influence of intoxicants or alcohol is fined with 6000 Euro and withdrawal of the driving license for 3 years and/or being imprisoned for up to 3 years.
From 1st July 2012 every car driving in France has to be equipped with breathalyzers. Minimal fine is 11 Euro.
Exemplary fines for other road offences, in Euro:
- wrong parking – from 35 to 135
- parking causing danger for other users of roads – 135 and 3 penalty points and possible withdrawal of the driving license for 3 years
- ignoring STOP sign – 135 and 4 penalty points and withdrawal of the driving license for up to 3 years
- failure to fasten one’s seatbelts – 135 and 3 penalty points
- speeding: over 20kph – 135 and 1 penalty point; from 20 to 50kph – from 135 to 1.500 and from 2 to 4 penalty points.
Note: at the same offence repeated twice the fines are increased by 100%.
Offence Code also includes a regulation according to which a fine for causing corporal injuries unintentionally may amount to 1.500 Euro and a possible withdrawal of the driving license for 3 years.
In the case of being caught at other drivers’ safety violation again, the fine is increased to 15.000 Euro, 1 year of prison and withdrawal of the driving license for 5 years.
If a driver claims he did not commit an offence, he is asked to pay a deposit fee (amende forfaitaire) the amount of which depends on the kind of the offence; failure to pay the above – mentioned fee may cause confiscation of the vehicle until the time of paying the fee.
A police officer is entitled to impose and collect a fine of up to 375 Euro.
Note: Drivers are obliged by the law to keep a safe distance between the vehicles in traffic. The distance is equivalent to the time of 2 seconds of moving vehicles (i.e. at the speed of 50kph – 28m; at 90kph – 50m; at 110kph – 62m; at 130kph – 73m). A failure to comply with these regulations is fined with 90 Euro.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
Assistance breakdown service – in case of a breakdown a driver uses emergency telephones (orange colour) situated along the motorways every 2 km calling the police or assistance breakdown service of the given motorway. He may call a garage or a service of his own choice only after the exit of the motorway.
Police – 17
Fire brigade – 18
Emergency (SAMU) – 15
Or the unified number – 112