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France bans drivers from using mobile phone even when car is stopped

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France bans drivers from using mobile phone even when car is stopped
Photo: kikovic/Depositphotos
10:16 CET+01:00
A French court has ruled that it is now illegal for drivers to use mobile phones in their cars even when they have stopped, pulled over or have the hazard lights on.
In fact, drivers can be punished for using a mobile any time the vehicle isn't parked in a designated parking area, including a car park or private driveway. 
 
As a result, they face a fine of up to €135 and get three points on their driving license for three years which is the same punishment already handed out to people caught using their phones at the wheel in France. 
 
The new rule only applies to the use of a smartphone the driver is holding in their hand and not to cars fitted with hands-free sets.
 
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. 
 

France set to suspend licenses of drivers caught using mobile phones

Photo: Felicitie Leon/Flickr

But luckily for motorists, there is one exception. 
 
Drivers are still allowed to make calls if they break down at the side of the road. 
 
 
The French government has vowed to tackle the rising number of deaths on the country's roads and has set its sights on speeding drives and motorists who use their phones at the wheel.
 
In 2015 some 300,000 drivers in France were fined after being caught using their phone.
 
A recent survey revealed that nine out of 10 drivers in France admitted using their smartphone to make calls whilst driving or even to keep an eye on messages they had received.
 
France has a bad record for the number of fatal accidents that occur on its roads, with the death toll in 2016 reaching 3,469.
 
The possible law change comes at a time when road mortality has been on the rise since 2014 -- the longest period of sustained increase since 1972.
 
 
At the time Jehanne Collard, a lawyer for victims of road accidents in France and an author of a book of the subject said habits needed to change.
 
"There is a real deterioration in terms of the behavior on the road. Fatal accidents often involving cyclists, pedestrians and scooter drivers are related to excessive speeds and risk-taking, such as blind overtaking," she told Le Figaro.
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