B-day for motorists
French bring in law that every car must carry a personal breathalyser
holidaymakers to the sunshine spots in the country.
Police have been instructed not to impose fines, set at $14, until November.
The Transport Ministry in France confirms the regulation applies to every car driving on the country’s roads, including foreign visitors in cars registered outside the country.
The blood alcohol limit in France is the same as Australia at 0.05, but the death toll on the country’s roads has not diminished in recent years. The figure for 2011 was 4000 deaths, only a slight reduction on 2010.
The single-use breathalyser is intended to allow drivers to self-test before hitting the road, but drivers are being recommended to have two units in the car, to keep one in reserve for any police check.
Road safety regulators in Europe have forced through requirements for a number of onboard items in recent years, and anyone driving in France is already required to carry a reflective warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest— which must be in the passenger cabin and not the boot. This is in addition to a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and spare bulbs for the car’s lights.
If anything is missing, it brings a fine of $125.
On lookout: Police will check that motorists have a breathalyser