Mobile Phone Prohibition
A French court has ruled that it is now illegal for drivers to use mobile phones in their cars and that drivers can be punished for using a mobile device any time the vehicle isn't parked in a designated parking area, including a car park or private driveway with a fine of up to €135 (approx. $150 USD) along with 3 points on their driving license. The law does not apply to hands-free devices (but does restrict wireless headsets), and it makes exceptions for emergency calls, like being stranded on the side of the road.
The decision came after a driver appealed a fine he received in 2017 which punished him for using a phone while he was parked at a roundabout with his hazard lights on. However, there is one exception that allows drivers to still make calls if they break down at the side of the road.
The efforts are all of a program that the French government implemented in order to tackle the rising number of automobile related deaths. In 2015 some 300,000 drivers in France were fined after being caught using their phone and a recent survey revealed that 9 out of 10 drivers in France admitted using their phone while driving, thus contributing to the death toll in 2016 that reached 3,469 victims. A study conducted by Sécurité Routière, has concluded that about 10 percent of the country’s road accidents are caused at least in part by telephone use.
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