Beware the use of sat navs

in France this summer

31 July 2012

The laws are changing in europe

There has been lots of publicity about the newly introduced law requiring all drivers to carry approved breathalysers while travelling on French roads but British drivers using their company car abroad need to be aware of another new regulation introduced by our Gallic neighbours – it is now illegal to have a satellite navigation device that has inbuilt speed camera location information.

“The device doesn’t need to be in use at the time you’re stopped either”, says AA DriveTech’s Marketing Director David Richards. “Mere possession of a device that has the capability to provide this information, even if it’s not being used at the time, is sufficient to be breaking the law and an on-the-spot fine is very likely.”

To be 100% sure of being in the clear the AA is recommending that drivers contact the relevant vehicle or aftermarket device manufacturer to get advice about removal of the camera location information through some form of software application. Any changes in the device’s database will have to be completely up to date though – there are 400 new fixed speed cameras being installed in France at present.

“We would also wish to remind fleet drivers about the potential distraction effects of any interactive, in-vehicle information system,” continues Richards. “These can increase risk considerably, even when drivers are on familiar territory. When driving on the right hand side of the road however it can take vital milliseconds longer to retain full concentration and control.”

The AA has a lot of useful information for motorists either renting or using their own vehicles abroad – see http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/countrybycountry.html and
http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/driving-abroad-whats-new-2012.html
http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/radar-detectors-in-france.html