Could This Driving Faux Pas Cost You £670?

Mon 30th Jul 2018

Driving to France this summer? It might be a good time to check on the new driving regulations after authorities across the channel introduced new rules to limit the number of accidents.

Speed restrictions on the traditional two-lane motorways, or ‘D’ roads as they are more commonly known, were cut from 55mph to 50mph in March this year. This is one of a range of measures which is likely to catch UK drivers unaware according to a new report published by the RAC.

The survey conducted by one of the country’s largest motoring organisations revealed that 78 per cent of motorists were not aware of the speed limit reductions on France’s roads. More than half (59 per cent) were unclear on a number of other French driving regulations. For example less than a quarter knews it was illegal to drive with headphones in, moret than 70 per cent didn’t know that they weren’t allowed to use their mobile phone if the engine was still running, even if parked - risking a penalty of £120. The fines for speeding could be up to £670.

Rod Dennis, RAC European driving spokesperson, said: “France remains the most popular destination for British drivers, and some changes to driving regulations may come as a surprise to those that regularly cross the Channel by car.

“The French have witnessed a big increase in the number of fatalities on their departmental ‘D’ road network in recent years, and while the decision to cut the speed limit on these roads has been fiercely opposed by some, the law is the law.

"British drivers that have been driving to France for many years on the same roads should pay particular attention to speed limit signs, especially as new rules now mean any traffic offences committed while away follow UK motorists home again – so there really is no escaping them."

And for those who think they can ignore any fines or punishments enforced abroad, regulations introduced in 2017 mean that EU countries can now access the DVLAs database allowing them to track down motorists guilty of incidents caught on camera.