Speed camera detectors are legal at home. But it's not always true abroad, where many countries have laws that ban drivers from carrying or using them.
Since 2012, it's been strictly forbidden under the French 'Code de la Route' (highway code) to have a speed camera detector in a car in France. That's regardless of whether or not you're using it.
Read our guide to understand what the law says and what it means for your driving trip to France.
What does the French law say?
French laws ban drivers from carrying devices that can detect speed cameras. This covers:
- Radar and laser detectors, which pick up the signal from mobile speed cameras
- GPS systems which show fixed speed cameras that exist on a database
Banned GPS systems can include sat navs and other navigation devices that show you where fixed speed cameras are.
'Jammers' which block the signal from a speed camera to stop you being caught are illegal, both here and abroad.
What are the penalties?
If you're caught with one of the banned devices, you could be penalised. Penalties can include:
- Fines of up to €1,500
- Confiscation of the device
- The vehicle being confiscated
Penalties can be issued if you're using the device or if you simply have it in the car, even if it's switched off.
What should I do with my camera detector?
If your satnav can show French camera locations in France then you must at least disable camera alerts before driving in France.
We recommend that you contact the manufacturer of the satnav for advice. It's likely that an update exists that'll actually remove camera info for France from the device.
If you have a satnav system built into your car then we recommend contacting the vehicle manufacturer in the first instance.
If you use Google maps to navigate, Google has advised that its camera detection feature turns off when you connect to data or WiFi in France.
If in doubt, follow our guidelines for driving with a mobile by switching it off and popping it in the glove box.
More advice for driving in France
Driving rules and customs in France are different to the UK. Our guide to driving in France tells you all the basics you need to know before a trip.
Remember that there are strict penalties if you break the road traffic rules. These include:
- Imprisonment and a heavy fine for causing death while driving over the alcohol limit or under the influence of drugs.
- There are also similar penalties for causing death by dangerous or negligent driving.
- The French police apply speed limits strictly. If you exceed them, you'll face heavy on-the-spot fines.
- If you break French driving laws you can have your UK driving licence taken away by French Police.
- If your licence is taken away, your vehicle could be temporarily held by police if noone else in your group can drive with a valid licence.